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2010 Peoria Hummingbird Festival
Saturday, August 21
John Ford looks down with amazement at his adopted hummingbird.
John Ford is ready to release his adopted hummingbird
Closeup of John Ford's Adopted Juvenile Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Note the single bright red feather in the gorget (throat) of John Ford's adopted hummingbird. Vern explained that the single red feather indicated that this was a juvenile male that had hatched this year. In a few week, more red feathers will cover the gorget.
Verne Kleen gently places hummingbird into Darlene Ford's hand for release
Verne indicated that by banding hummingbirds, we are able to gather valuable information about them. For instance, if a hummingbird lives past the first year, they may live for 3-5 years. It is possible that some may even live further. Vern said that with his previously banded hummingbirds, there was one unique individual that he captured for 4 years straight. This belies how they may return to the same location year after year.
One of the more amazing facts is that ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate across the Gulf of Mexico to winter in Mexico and parts of Central America. Since there are no "filling-stations" over the ocean, the hummingbirds pack on the calories in the short time before their migration. During this time, they increase in weight from 3 grams to a "whopping" 5 grams. The increase in body fat helps fuel them toward their winter destination.
Closeup of Darlene Ford's Male Ruby-throated Hummingbird
Vern Kleen examines hummingbird - Other hummingbirds are in pink cloth bags
Verne determines the sex, measures the bill length and determines if the hummingbird is a juvenile for recording the banding.
Vern examining hummingbird flight feathers
Removing a stored hummingbird band from safety pin
Vern stores the tiny bands on a safety pin before putting them in his banding crimper.
Getting the band in the crimpers
In the above image, Vern is getting the band aligned in the crimper for attaching to the hummingbird's leg.
Measuring the bill length
The bill length is recorded as part of the banding process.
Examining the band after crimping
After crimping, the band is inspected for the proper degree of looseness on the leg. In the above image, one can see the band attached to the hummingbirds leg.
Feeling the heartbeat of a hummingbird
Everyone was enthralled to feel the heartbeat of a hummingbird.
Feeling the heartbeat of hummingbird
Karen watches her adopted hummingbird before it flew away
"These hummingbirds are cool"
The excitement and awe of viewing one of these tiny birds is awe inspiring.
Adopted hummingbird is released - Blurred hummingbird is visible in circle
Although caught as a blur of motion and circled in red, the adopted hummingbird is released.
Relaxing to watch a hummingbird presentation inside the Nature Center
The Peoria Audubon Society wishes to thank the Illinois Audubon Society and the Peoria Park District for organizing and putting the event together. In particular, Peoria Audubon wishes to thank Vernon Kleen of the Illinois Audubon Society for coming to Peoria to host the event.
Peoria Audubon also wish to thank all the volunteers to donated their time to make this work. Lastly, thanks go out to those who made a donation to Illinois Audubon Society to Adopt-a-hummingbird. The monies go to preserve critical bird and nature habitat for the future benefit of all.
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