THIS WEEK at HILTON POND
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Rufous Hummingbird Banded
Although cold weather, rain, and holiday travel interfered with mist netting at Hilton Pond Center, staff still found time to travel to nearby Fort Mill and to Pendleton, South Carolina, to band two Rufous Hummingbirds.
The Pendleton bird (see photos above and below) arrived at the home of Buren and Luanne Blankenship in mid-October 2000--about the same date when they first saw a Rufous Hummingbird that came last year and stayed through mid-January. (The 1999 bird--pictured at right in a photo by Buren--was sight-identified as an immature male but was not captured.)
This year's Pendleton bird was quite tame and entered the trap about 10 minutes after it was set. Measurements, plumage colors, beak corrugations, and general condition indicated it was a healthy female that hatched out in 2000. The bird continued to visit the feeder daily after being banded.
Master Gardener and hummingbird- attractor Luanne Blankenship (above), with this year's Rufous Hummingbird.
The Fort Mill (SC) bird had been seen for about a week coming to a feeder at the home of Mrs. Mary Milliken. After a pull-string trap was set for this bird, it first hovered around the bander's face for several seconds and entered the trap about 20 minutes later. This bird was determined in-the-hand to be a healthy juvenile female; she also continued to visit the feeder each day after banding.
Rufous Hummingbirds, which normally breed in the western U.S. as far north as Alaska, are being seen with increasing regularity in the eastern U.S. (See information about another Rufous Hummingbird banded by Hilton Pond Center personnel in Richburg.) It is likely that individuals of this species historically dispersed across North America in autumn, but it's also possible that habitat disturbance throughout their normal range has resulted in more Rufous Hummingbirds--and other western and Central American species--wandering eastward. The profusion of artificial hummingbird feeders being left up in winter across the eastern U.S. makes it much more likely that vagrant western hummingbirds will be detected.
All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center
The following species were banded this week:
No new birds banded
Cold weather, rain, and holiday travel interfered with mist netting.
Rufous Hummingbird banded on 22 Nov at Fort Mill SC
Rufous Hummingbird banded on 24 Nov at Pendleton SC (see story above)
GRAND TOTAL (since June 1982)
NOTABLE RECAPTURES WITH
ORIGINAL BANDING DATES
Current Weather Conditions at Hilton Pond Center
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 Web site--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.