Hummingbird Banding - Cook's Lake Educational Center

Eighteen HSV Audubon members and guests journeyed to the Potlatch Education Center in Casscoe where we had the opportunity to visit with Arkansas' only certified hummingbird bander, Tana Beasley.  Many Audubon members will recall that in the past Tana has done hummingbird presentations at our monthly meetings.  Now was our opportunity to see Tana and her coworkers, Treva and Marlin, in action.

 

Following an informative program and movie about hummingbirds, the serious work began.  Marlin, over the course of about 30 minutes, trapped more than a half dozen Ruby Throats and carefully placed them individually in small mesh bags.  Tana and Treva teamed up to put a tiny coded,metal tag on the right leg of each bird.  As we watched, Tana measured the wing and tail feathers of each bird, ingeniously checked for the amount of body fat, determined the sex and approximate age and weighed each bird.  Treva recorded all of this information.  Then for us, the real fun began.  Those who wanted to  could have a hummer placed in the palm of their hand for release.  Some birds flew off immediately; others lingered a moment or two.  Holding a hummer and feeling its  heart beat is an experience we'll never forget.

 

The pictures below are by Vic Prislipsky