Friday, July 20 - Gage Gardens
The morning started with our local Master Bander, Kelly Bryan, waiting patiently for hummingbirds at the Gage Gardens. Designated feeders were set up inside traps and Black-chinned Hummingbirds were summarily fished out for banding.
An interesting note about hummingbird migration: it seems to go in cycles. Kelly has been tracking the occasional dips in fall migration for years - his website, West Texas Hummingbirds is a wealth of information! Unfortunately for us, however, this year is turning out to be a slow fall migration so we'll be checking his site to see what next year may bring!
Kelly uses nothing but the finest cuttings of hosiery to restrain hummingbirds for weight measurements: under the wing of Black-chinned Hummingbird we see banding pliers, a magnifying glass to look for grooves on the bill, the aforementioned foot of pantyhose, and calipers for taking additional measurements.
First round of celebrity spotting: Kenn Kaufman on the left! Patt, closest to Kelly, is a local celebrity - she has been birding, bugging, botanizing and geo-geeking (is that a real label?) in this region for quite a while!
Patt, pre-hummingbird takeoff. Celebrity spotting, round two: Kim Kaufman on the left!