Exploring the Enchanting World of Hummingbirds: A Boise Discovery

Elizabeth Lopez- EFTA Intern

During my captivating journey to Boise, Idaho, I had the privilege of being hosted by Ally Turner, a distinguished and inspirational figure at the helm of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife. This extraordinary opportunity allowed me to engage in a diverse array of activities, including participation in hummingbird banding, conducting meticulous snail surveys, contributing to vital captive breeding initiatives, and embarking on enriching tours of meticulously curated pollinator gardens.

Today, our focus turns to the enthralling realm of hummingbirds. Within this realm, we delve into the intricacies of trapping methods, precision-driven banding techniques, and the delicate art of releasing these vibrant avian wonders. This discourse not only unveils the meticulous procedures employed but also underscores the profound significance of these endeavors in advancing our understanding of hummingbirds and ensuring their continued conservation.

Embarking on our journey on a Tuesday morning, we arrived at the designated site—a meticulously chosen porch belonging to a dedicated avian aficionado with a remarkable two-decade history of providing sustenance through hummingbird feeders. Our gracious host not only possesses extensive proficiency in the art of banding but also imparted a wealth of background knowledge concerning the intricate world of hummingbirds. This invaluable contextual insight laid a strong foundation for our subsequent activities.

Pictured are the traps used at the location. In a nutshell, a pulley is used to lift and drop the rounded net. We had 2 traps up with 2 feeders. There was about 10 feeders around the house that where stored. The purpose of this is, is to make sure hummingbirds are only attracted to the feeders in the traps.
During the banding, the bird observatory invited the public to oversee the hummingbird banding.
After banding was complete, the hummingbird would get a drank of sugar water and would be safely released.
I was also given the opportunity to release a few hummingbird’s!

In the end, I am very thankful to Ally for allowing me to travel down to explore different experiences and I am so thankful to my supervisors Tara Callaway and Erin Adams for orchestrating this!

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