Marking the Hummingbird

Marking Hummingbird

Hummingbirds have such tiny legs that it's hard to see a band on one when it's flying or perched. After Nancy traps and bands a hummingbird, she doesn't want to stress the bird or waste her own time by capturing the same bird again and again, every time it flies into a trap to feed. So after she bands a bird, she marks it to make it easy to recognize the bird from a distance. During migration, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds usually remain in a Louisiana yard for a few days before moving on, so she just uses Liquid Paper, which washes off within a week or two. She knows she has already banded any birds with a white forehead that fly into her traps. Rufous Hummingbirds often remain for the entire winter, so those are marked with a more permanent dye. When they molt, the colored feathers will fall out and be replaced.


Next: Releasing the Hummingbird