Have you been seeing lots of hummingbirds lately? This time of year the numbers usually swell due to the fact that the ones that have been here nesting have fledged their young, as well as the migrants that nested north of us are starting to come through this area on their way south. Once again the Tennessee National Wildlife Refuge will celebrate with a Hummingbird Banding Event on Saturday, August 13, 2022 from 9 am to 3 pm when they host a free hummingbird banding demonstration at the refuge Visitor Center located at 1371 Wildlife Drive in Springville, TN.
Federally Licensed Master Bander, Cynthia Routledge of Southeast Avian Research in Clarksville, Tennessee will return to lead the banding demonstrations. Using specially designed tools, Mrs. Routledge will band each captured hummingbird with a band that has a number that will be unique to that individual bird, much like a “bird social security number”. She will then take a series of additional measurements to determine the age and sex of the hummingbird and then the bird will be released.
All these measurements will be carefully recorded and all the information will be turned in to the Bird Banding Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, the central database for all North American bird banding information. Researchers, such as Mrs. Routledge, have gained valuable insight and information about the lives and habits of hummingbirds through banding such as migration routes, longevity, nesting habits, population trends, the effects of habitat loss and a warming world.
Banding will take place on the center’s back patio, when there are birds available from 9:00-11:00 am; 12:00 – 1:00 pm and 2:00 – 3:00 pm. Mrs. Routledge will also present a program on Hummingbirds at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.
The day will include fun for the whole family as arts and crafts, and other activities for children will occur throughout the event.
This year the participating public will be able to “Adopt a Hummingbird” for a donation of $10.00. With that donation, you will be able to personally set free and release your hummingbird, get a certificate with all the hummingbird data as well as receiving email notifications should that bird be recaptured later in life. All proceeds will go to the Friends of Tennessee NWR who support hosting future environmental education programs for the public.
As always, entrance to any event or to the Refuge Visitor Center is free to the public. For more information about this or other refuge programs, call 731-642-2091.