Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hole in One!

Whoopee! Rufous Hummingbird photo by Rick Leche

If your yard has hummingbirds, you've got more action than Smokey and the Bandit! More mischief than a barrel full of cairn terriers! Hummingbirds tear around the feeders like Steve McQueen in a green Mustang fastback! That's why many of us are counting the days till the little winged hellions return.

Which brings me to today's "Website Wednesday": hummingbird bander Lanny Chambers' web-site, Every time I write about hummingbirds, I have to give credit to Lanny. When I posted about the recapture of a Rufous Hummingbird with a record-breaking migration,  he told me, “This spectacular recapture is like a blind golfer making a hole-in-one on a million-yard hole! I've banded about 2500 hummers in 10 years. Exactly two have been recaptured elsewhere.” 

Over the years that I've known him, he's given me plenty of information about nectar feeders, which he makes available on the site. He explains why the structure of the feeder is important, as I mentioned in my post about feeders last August. He's given us information about hummingbird babies, and their look-alike neighbors, the hummingbird moths. For my post "They'd Rather Fight than Switch," Lanny told me about Dennis Demcheck's article, “Sugar Content of Hummingbird Plants in Louisiana Gardens.” Demcheck used a refractometer to measure the concentration of sugar in the nectar of blossoms in his garden—information used by many a hummingbird gardener to improve the crop!

Lanny's site was featured by the Librarians' Internet Index—now the Internet Public Library. The popular education website Journey North: A Global Study of Wildlife Migration and Seasonal Change asked him to write their Frequently Asked Questions page. He's a frequent contributor to the HumNet forum. His website includes information you'll have a hard time finding anywhere else, but my favorite page is the migration map. I check it often to see how close Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are to me. I always try to be the first in my area to report one to Lanny, but no luck so far. Last year, 4,122 people sent him a "first of the year" hummingbird report! 

Type "hummingbirds" into the Google search box and see what comes up first out of 3.25 million results. Go on—I dare you!


  1. We're lucky- Anna's Hummingbirds stick around here all year long. We have mild winters, so I guess they can make it OK. Right now, they are already fighting over territory. I hear their squeaking wings!

  2. Male Anna's hummers are beautiful! There is one record winter record of an Anna's in St. Louis county MO.

  3. PS: I see by the migration map that a Ruby-throat has been reported in southeast Illinois 3 days ago.