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2008 Peoria Hummingbird Festival

Saturday, August 23 

Vern Kleen emphasized that the nest of the ruby-throated hummingbird is made from spider webs and is well camouflaged with lichens and hard to find.  The female hummer collects the silk strands of spiderweb and winds them around plant parts.  The cup is filled with with plant down and expands slightly as the hummingbird nestlings (usually 2) grow. 

Alex & Blake Admire Hummingbird Nest

In the above image, Alex and Blake were fascinated by the small size of the hummingbird nest. 

Hummingbird Bands Stored on Safety Pin

Vern indicated that when he receives the hummingbird bands, he has to meticulously cuts them out of a card with a razor blade.  He then stores the bands on a safety pin prior to carefully clamping the band onto the hummingbird's leg. 

Examining Band on Hummingbird's Leg

Vern is examining the band after affixing it to the hummer's leg.  In the image, he is showing the banded hummingbird to the crowd.  Note that the jar for "Adopt-a-Bird" donations are in the background.  100% of the funds go to purchase habitat land by the Illinois Audubon Society.

Showing Banded Hummingbird to Crowd


Feeling Heartbeat of Hummingbird

Many of the festival participants got to feel the hummingbird's 1200 beat per minute heartbeat. 

Feeling Heartbeat of Hummingbird

Everyone wanted to see the Hummingbird

Karen Boone Releasing her Adopted Hummingbird

John Mullen and Helper Transport Hummingbirds

John Mullen, Assistant Chief Naturalist of the Peoria Park District and a volunteer are helping remove and transport captured hummingbirds to the banding table.  The hummingbirds are transported in the pink cloth bags.  This way, the hummingbirds are kept quiet and calm.  According to Verne, when captured, the birds enter a torpor, which is a very quiet state whereas the birds expend little energy.  John, who is on the board of Peoria Audubon Society, was one of the event organizers. 

The Peoria Audubon Society wishes to thank the Peoria Park District and Illinois Audubon Society for taking the time and energy to bring this event together.  As a result, all of Central Illinois is enriched by the experience and the science and knowledge of hummingbird populations benefits

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