Sunday, September 16, 2012

Hummingbird Festival

watercolor photoshop attempt
Today was the annual Hummingbird Festival at Kleb Woods Nature Center. 
It is such a packed day. 
My girls were asked dress in the period of Kleb's parents when they owned the farm.
They handed out tickets for tours of the farm house and blacksmith barn.

Molly and Nicholas helped kids figure out if they could be a  hummingbird; none were, of course, because they would have to be able to flap their arms 70 times per second. The best most could do qualified them to be a pigeon or a crow.

lots of great talks about bird behavior.
This board shows plants to attract hummingbird to your yard.
Bird Banding
First, they need to catch a hummingbird.
Today there were so many hummingbirds swarming the nets, they just let many come and go.
it really looked like swarms coming to the feeders.

The lady who bands hold a unique license to band hummingbirds. 
She also has too have excellent eyesight and nimble fingers.

She begins by checking out the hummers overall health.

After she identifies male/female, the first job is to get the band on. 
She doesn't wear glasses, and can gently put the bands on these little tiny creatures.
(I couldn't see the bands!)

She weighs them. Most were in the a little over 4 grams weight category. More than 4 1/2 and she could say they were ready to continue their migration to Mexico. They stopped here to fill up on sugar, and fatten up their bodies, from originally around 2 grams to over four to make the rest of their journey.
4 grams is about two dimes.

Next job is to measure the body and the beak.

 She gives them a little something sweet and randomly chooses someone to release the bird back.
I asked if she had ever recaptured one she had previously banded, she hadn't and had high hopes for today.

It was a nice day to take in a nature walk around the Wetland Trail.
Lilly had lots of fun.

Always nature to examine: beautiful fungus

...and then there was that cute spotted owl that was injured in Bear Creek Park by a kid shooting it with a pellet gun. "Percy" couldn't fly, but was so cute, we fell in love. Lilly spent so much time by his side.
In the video you can hear her voice warning Nick that the owl couldn't fly but could "bite you". It still eats mice.

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