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Hum & Flutter

We had the unique experience on Saturday of attending a hummingbird banding.  A biology professor at a nearby university participates in a study in which hummingbirds are measured, weighed, and banded each year.  Data is collected to determine whether the migrating Ruby Throated Hummingbirds return to the same place each year.  The highlight of the experience was that the girls each got to hold a hummingbird after its data  had been catalogued.  The hummers took off so quickly that I didn’t get a shot of Lulu’s, and I barely got this one of Louise’s:
Louise holding butterfly

After the girls released their birds, the scientists involved took a break, and we wandered over to the cages to watch the professor demonstrate how to catch and hold a hummer:

how to hold a hummingbird
The hostess for this study is the president of our local wildflower society, and her yard and surrounding property show it. She puts a lot of effort into attracting hummingbirds and butterflies to her yard. Every time I visit some place like this, I start dreaming about what we can do in our yard to approximate a city version of such an environment. (Does anyone else suffer with the affliction of “I’m interested in too many different things”?) My favorite shots of the day (aside from some fun ones of the girls around her ponds and in front of her flowers) are of this beautiful butterfly:

 butterfly 1

butterfly 2

butterfly 3

butterfly 4

The zinnias and their visitors were gorgoeus–truly breathtaking! I think this one is a Monarch, at least based upon my quick perusal of National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies .  Steady Eddie’s years of undergraduate biology study are coming in handy for me, finally. 

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5 Responses

  1. How cool! My girls would eat that up! My husband is going to take N1 to a little bufferfly exhibit/program at a local wildlife sanctuary in a few weeks and I’m excited for her. Love that we can find school in all these fun activities!

  2. Great pics! I’m still dreaming of a butterfly garden.

  3. Great pics! What a treat for the girls to get to touch them. It’s great to see hummers up close — though I do feel bad for them. I’m a bit of a banding skeptic.

    That bottom one isn’t a monarch, I don’t think. Their spots are bigger.

    • Janet,

      I’m not too sure how I feel about all of that quantification of nature, either. It was a neat opportunity, though.

      I wasn’t too sure about this butterfl being a Monarch. Maybe it’s a Viceroy? I composed this post on Steady Eddie’s laptop, and the colors of the pictures are a little off.

  4. […] neck of the woods in large numbers.  In fact, you might remember several weeks ago that my girls had the unique experience of holding one!  One of the hummingbirds’ favorite spots is a place on the Natchez Trace Parkway that is […]

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