Fred Bassett, with the Hummer/Bird Study Group, was in town Friday and early Saturday to check out reports of hummers at 14 homes in Tallahassee.  We started early Friday morning going to 12 homes and finishing up with two more Saturday morning.  We caught 11 birds, two of them previously banded.  Among the birds were two female black-chinned, two female rufous, a female calliope, and 6 ruby-throated.  In addition we saw a buff-bellied, so 5 species of hummingbirds in a day was quite impressive.

The two return birds were not caught at the homes where they were originally banded, but at homes less than 1/2 mile away.  We also went to a home where the owner had been seeing a hummer that looked "different".  A couple of minutes after we set up a buff-bellied hummer appeared and made a couple of passes at the trap then flew off over the house.  Two minutes later my phone rang and it was from the lady where we banded a buff-bellied several weeks ago, calling to say that her bird was back after not being see for a couple of days.  Checking the map, the two homes are about 4 blocks apart, so most likely this is the same bird.

The calliope that was banded is also likely the one that we tried several times last year to catch at the same home but refused to enter the trap.  This is the second female calliope banded in Tallahassee this year and Fred only banded one calliope all of last year.

Another interesting thing is that most of the birds that Fred had caught this were return birds.  The 9 birds banded here were nearly a third of all the birds he has banded and moved the number of banded birds even with the number of returns.  If things go as usual, the number of return birds will decline and the number of new birds will increase over the rest of the winter.  It has been very interesting to see the increased number of returns as well as the number of birds that are being found at different homes.  It appears that their wintering ground ranges are much wider than previously thought.

Fred Dietrich
Tallahassee, FL

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