I just wanted to remind everyone that as we enter rarity season for western hummingbirds, I am available to come band any western hummers that should visit your feeders over the fall/winter and early spring months. Last year I banded five winter hummers, one very late HY female Ruby-throated in West Cape May, two Black-chinned (HY male and HY female) in North Cape May, one AHY female Rufous in Stockton, and a HY male Allen’s in Little Egg Harbor.
Interestingly, this fall I began a second project to map Ruby-throated Hummingbird migration through New Jersey (other states have done a better job of banding RTHU in previous years) and while I didn’t know what to expect in terms of densities, I was absolutely blown away at what I found! Between two private residences (Cumberland and Ocean counties) I banded nearly 200 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in August and early September. On one date I banded 47 RTHU before running out of bands…that morning I estimated 250 hummingbirds were visiting those feeders (and learned the lesson of having more bands on-hand than you think you’ll need!). My intention is not to boast, but to suggest that we know very little about New Jersey as an important stopover site for RTHU, and the eBird data that is submitted does not reflect the true abundances I’ve seen at several private residences. During the fall, through word of mouth, I’ve was alerted to two other properties with similar densities and plan to expand my banding to those sites next fall. If your hummingbird feeders are “loaded” between late June and the beginning of September, and you are open to having birds banded at your location, please don’t hesitate to email me.
On August 16th we (NJ Audubon’s Cape May Bird Observatory) began a new long-term stopover habitat study in Cape May in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and Cellular Tracking Technologies. You can read our weekly banding updates on our website:
Since mid-August we’ve banded an additional 42 RTHU at this migration site. The full banding report will be published in the 2019 Peregrine Observer. The 2018 Peregrine Observer should be on your coffee table right now (assuming you are a member), and includes the first hummingbird banding report from last year’s banding season.
For immediate contact (especially with the ‘here one day, gone the other’ tendencies of early-fall vagrant hummers) my cell phone number is below in my signature. Don’t hesitate to text or call.
David A. La Puma, PhD
Director, Cape May Bird Observatory
New Jersey Audubon
600 Route 47 North
Cape May Court House, NJ 08210
P (CRE): 609.400.3833 (internal use: ext 922)
P (Northwood): 609.400.3834 (internal use: ext 714)