Banding #1

The questions below come in part from visitors who leave messages on the Operation RubyThroat website. Please send your own questions to QUESTIONS, or post them on the Guestbook page.

1. Doesn't capturing and banding hummingbirds stress them out or hurt them?

All text & photos © Bill Hilton Jr.

Hummingbird banders are constantly thinking about the birds' welfare as they capture and band them. In the banding process, we borrow a bird from nature for a few minutes, but the scientific knowledge that is gained is invaluable as we try to understand hummingbirds and how to protect them and their habitats. The band itself is tiny and does not hamper the bird's lifestyle; it weighs about as much compared to the hummingbird as your wristwatch does to you. Usually, a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) in the hand will even drink sugar water from a feeder, indicating that its stress level must not be very high. A released bird frequently will return within a few minutes to the same trap where it was caught--something a stressed bird is not likely to do.

Back to Hummingbird Questions & Answers

Up to Top of Page

If you found this information useful or interesting, please

Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History
Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project
It's painless, and YOU can make a difference!

Just CLICK on a logo below.

Make direct donations on-line through
Network for Good:
Donate a portion of your purchase price from 500+ top on-line stores via iGive:
Use your PayPal account
to make direct donations:

Share Your Hummingbird Experiences Through "Hummingbird Hobnob"

Search Engine

Operation RubyThroat is a registered trademark of Bill Hilton Jr. and Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York, South Carolina USA, phone (803) 684-5852. Contents of the overall project and this website--including photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of the author. To obtain permission or for further assistance on accessing this website, contact Webmaster.