Monday, November 21, 2011

Rufous Hummingbird in Wareham Massachusetts

On Saturday, I received an e-mail from my good friend Paul, who is the volunteer ornithologist at Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary that there was a Rufous Hummingbird- Rufous 2 November 20, 2011 NIKON D3S in Wareham, Massachusetts asking me if I wanted to go to photograph it.  Of course I said yes, and that evening I got a telephone call, and we arranged to meet the next morning to travel down to observe photograph and be with the people that were going to capture and band this Hummingbird.
The Rufous Hummingbird normal range is in western North America from southern Alaska to California, which makes this Hummingbird the most northern nesting Hummingbird.  They migrate down through the Rocky Mountains to winter in Mexico and straight over to the East Coast to winter in Florida.  They have been found in Massachusetts, usually one to two birds at the most occurring in October and have been identified as late as February.  These birds are extremely hardy and able to tolerate temperatures as low as -20°C.  They can't survive if they have shelter and available sufficient food.
This bird has been present since October, and is been around its location, because the homeowner kept up their Hummingbird feeders.  First, I cannot tell you the location of this bird, because the homeowner wants privacy.  The reason that we got to see it is that the homeowner called up the Audubon sanctuary for help in identification of the bird.  She was agreeable for us to come down to id it, photograph the bird and band it to help in future studies, if it is caught at a banding stations.

- D7K_9194 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000The homeowner stated that the bird was very skittish and would fly away if people were around.  The banding capture cage was set up with the feeder inside - D7K_9188 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000- D7K_9200 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000and we stood outside the fence, looking in.  The person  
Sue spent around 1.5 hours holding the wire

 had a wire that would let down the door and trap the Hummingbird.- D7K_9184 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000
The Hummingbird at first would go to where the feeder was originally fly around and then fly away.  One of the times when it did was to land on the bush to the right of where we were standing, and stayed there so that I could capture a large number of photographs on it.- Rufous HummingbirdROT_9386-Edit November 20, 2011 NIKON D3S- Rufous HummingbirdROT_9395 November 20, 2011 NIKON D3S- Rufous ROT_9377 November 20, 2011 NIKON D3S
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Paul Holding the Hummingbird in the Bag
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Banding Tools

- D7K_9215 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000
Wrapping the hummingbird so it would not get injured

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Measuring the wing
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Photgraphing for the record
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Photgraphing for the record
Finally, the Hummingbird went into feed and was captured, banded, measured and released with no harm to it.- D7K_9212 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000- D7K_9232 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000

I want to thank first the homeowner for allowing us the privilege of seeing, photographing, and banding this bird, then to Paul for notifying me of the event, and to Sue for allowing me to photograph the banding episode.

- D7K_9261 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000
Feeding prior to release

- Rufous in Hand D7K_9275 November 20, 2011 NIKON D7000
In Hand prior to Release