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Hummingbird Monitoring

Hummingbird Monitoring and Banding

From late May until early September each year, we monitor the abundance, breeding condition, and migratory timing of three hummingbird species that use the Boise National Forest during the breeding and migration season – the Black-chinned, Rufous, and Calliope Hummingbird. A more specific goal of this project is to join the Hummingbird Monitoring Network (HMN) and the Western Hummingbird Partnership to establish a study site within the breeding range of the Calliope Hummingbird. Before 2012, there was no HMN site in Idaho and furthermore no HMN sites within the breeding range of the Calliope Hummingbird. This was a gap in the network that the Intermountain Bird Observatory filled. Of note, both Rufous and Calliope hummingbirds are on the Partners In Flight Watch List.

      • Did you know that most of the hummingbirds that breed in Idaho fly all the way to western Mexico to winter? That’s a huge distance for such a tiny bird to cover – and they do it twice a year (spring and fall) for their entire life (around 4-6 years)!
      • Calliope Hummingbirds weigh about the same as a penny, while Black-chinned Hummingbirds weigh about the same as a nickel.
      • You don’t need to add red dye to feeders to attract hummingbirds (it is unhealthy for them). The red color on the feeder itself is more than enough to attract them. Ask us for our printable fact sheet “Top 5 Reasons to NOT use Red Hummingbird Nectar”.
      • The Calliope Hummingbird is the smallest bird in North America, and the smallest long-distance migratory bird in the world!

Interested in observing?

We band once every two weeks. Exact dates are to be determined. You must reserve a spot to observe since space is limited. Please email if you have questions or would like to reserve a spot.

We are always in need of funding to further our research projects. Please click the “Donate” button to learn how you can make a donation to this project. Whether you mail a check or donate online, please specify which project you are donating towards in the memo line of your check or in the special designation box online,  (e.g., General Funds, Long-billed Curlews, Hummingbirds). This is the ONLY way to ensure your donations are routed to the correct project. Thank you!

Thanks go out to Jennifer Alban for allowing us use of the study site. Thanks to the Hummingbird Monitoring Network for valuable advice and guidance. We also thank the US Forest Service (both the International Programs and the Boise National Forest) for financial assistance. Funding provided by the USFS allowed up to purchase the safest and most up-to-date banding gear and traps, and also to covered gas money and the time of trained biologists. Thank you!
Forest_Service_logoHMN logo
Partners: US Forest Service, the Hummingbird Monitoring Network.