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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Wow! Hummers are tiny!

I headed up to Mt. Lemmon for a day of photography and some work at one of the telescopes. As I headed up I remembered that today was a monitoring day for the volunteers from the Hummingbird Monitoring Network . The group that monitors the hummingbirds at Lemmon is headed up by Kevin Gillooly. When I arrived they had been capturing and measuring the hummers coming to the feeders there for several hours already.

The first thing that struck me was how tiny these birds look when they are held in a hand. They look small when they come to the feeders, but I was shocked when I saw how truly tiny they actually are.

I was in awe at how much care Kevin took while he handled these fragile packages, banding them, measuring their wing feathers and making other visual observations of the bird in his hand. Most of the Broad-Tailed Hummingbirds that I watched them catch and measure weighed about 3 grams! The single Magnificent they captured and measured while I was there weighed a bit over 7 grams!

Canon 20D - 1/640th second, 191mm @ f/ 8, ISO 800


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