In January, Fred Bassett returned to Central Florida and spent a few hours banding hummingbirds at my parents’ house. In 2020, he banded two Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at their feeder. This year, he banded two more: two juvenile males who had tiny spots of red in what will grow up to be a full red gorget.
A few weeks later, my mom asked me to bring The Beast over to see if I could re-locate her banded birds. It’s very hard to photograph a banded hummingbird since they don’t exactly fly with their legs extended towards the camera! But I gave it a try. It was very fun to hang out with my parents and watch their hummers fight over the feeders. There were at least three birds and they had several mid-air “discussions” over who should get a turn at the nectar!
What do you think – is there a band on the left leg? There appears to be a ring, but I can’t see the whole thing. Here is the full-resolution image. I ran it through Topaz Sharpen to bring out the small details.
Here is the other hummer I photographed that afternoon. He’s another juvenile male Ruby-throated Hummingbird. His neck markings are different enough to distinguish him from his buddy. My parents think the birds are nest mates since they are always together. That would be fun, especially if it means that the birds nest near my parents’ house!
On a few of the images, I caught the bird’s tongue out! In this last image, we again have the first bird, and he turned to wink at me before he zoomed away!
Well, banding a hummingbird seems to me to be quite a challenge. Then along you come and try to photograph a band on the leg of a hummingbird! My old eyes are happy just to be able to see the bird!