Two weeks after we banded a Rufous Hummingbird, in Rock Hill, South Carolina, on Christmas Eve Day (24 December 2001), Hilton Pond Center got a call from David Angel, who lives half a mile--as the hummingbird flies--from where that particular bird was captured. David also reported a hummingbird coming to his feeder, and we were curious about whether it was the same bird going back and forth between yards in urban Rock Hill.
As is often the case, the Angel's garden had a large clump of Salvia--in this case, Mexican Sage--that probably attracted the hummer in the first place; then, after several hard freezes and a six-inch snowfall that knocked back the flowers, the bird turned its full attention to the feeder.
We visited with David and his wife, Peggy, on the afternoon of 5 January 2002, and set up a trap with the feeder inside. David's bird showed up a few minutes later but didn't enter the trap for about 20 minutes, at which time we pulled the string and had the bird in hand. A quick check of the bird's legs showed no bands, so it became Rock Hill's second reported Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus, of the winter. Like the earlier bird, this one was an adult female that hatched prior to 2001, and she was in excellent condition.
The birds measurements included: weight 3.6g; wing chord 44.4mm; tail length 25.5mm; tail notch 4mm; culmen (bill) length 18mm. Band number: Y14782. Thanks to the Angels (see photos below) for allowing us to visit and band the bird, which returned to the feeder many times for at least three days after the banding episode. As always, the Angels will keep notes about how long the bird hangs around and will let Hilton Pond Center know the date when the bird is last seen in 2002.
All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center
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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this website--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.