Ohio Tri-state Hummingbird Study

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Study

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Late molt of a Ruby-throat banded 10-18-07









Ruby-throated Hummingbird Migration Study Sites Needed!

(Assistants/trainees are also needed)

T. K. Tolford has begun a migration study in Southwestern Ohio and Southeastern Indiana and northern Kentucky on the Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

If you live in Southwestern Ohio, Southeastern Indiana or Northern Kentucky, please continue reading! (Other states not included in current studies or states who wish to work collaboratively are very welcomed! Please let us know you are out there!!!)

24 feeder station - Trellis dimension is 6' x 10'

If you or someone you know feeds hummingbirds and has 10 or more hummingbirds continuously at the feeders mid-April thru May, or late July thru Sept , this would make a potentially good banding research station. (this would not be typical with one or two feeders - 10 or more feeders would be ideal - use sugar water - 1part sugar to 4 parts water. Colored water is not necessary)


To give you an idea why it would be a good station, multiply 12 by 6. This will be the approximate number of hummers present during migration. The next day you will have an entirely different group of birds. Why? During migration, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds typically feed all day, then move on to the next place in their migration route. 

Data is submitted to the Bird Banding Laboratory annually. Data collected by HBRC hummingbird banders will be used to monitor migration routes, longevity, timelines of their migration. (this includes wintering hummers).

The study would continue as long as feeders are maintained, and the hummers continue to return each year during migration, the site owner is willing to allow the project to continue and Tim can physically "keep up". 

Please contact Tim Tolford at hummers@tolford.com or hummers@hbrcnet.org for banding research opportunities.

Also, before you make a decision or if you have any reservations, please visit www.hummingbirdsplus.org for all the information you can absorb about hummingbird banding and research projects around the country.

For any states in the central and northern portion of the eastern U.S., please log in to hummerwatch group to log your sightings of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. Please include the first sighting of the Spring and your geographic location, weekly numbers at your feeders and the last sighting of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird at your feeder station in the Fall.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Planning is under way for several additional collaborative Ruby-throated Hummingbird studies. Considerations include:

~ Phenology of the gorget coloration of female Ruby-throated Hummingbird during the breeding season - a comparative and collaborative study with research already completed on the Black-chinned Hummingbird. (Sherry Williamson)

~ Phenology of hummingbird preferred flowers.

~ Collaborative DNA and/or isotope studies: (Herman L. Mays Jr., Curator of Zoology, Geier Collections and Research Center, 

                                                                               Cincinnati Museum Center)

~ Male gorget feather pigmentation study (Collaborative study with Matthew D. Shawkey, Ph.D.Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biology, 

                                                                         Univ. of  Akron)



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