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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Routine day? Not so much....

We were excited to do our scheduled banding in south Brewster Co because a recent cold front may have brought in some interesting hummers. The six species we ended up seeing, and/or capturing, far exceeded our expectations. We were determined not to recapture the Costa's Hummingbird we banded a week ago. But that little ball of energy was a force to be reckoned with.

After the day we banded him a week ago (see post of Nov 7), I didn't see him again, and was sure he was gone. But when we arrived today he was lord of the realm. Kelly placed the trap where we had it last week, but this dominant Costa's wouldn't let any other hummer near the trap.

Fat and sassy
In desperation we set up another trap at the other side of the oasis. He'd already been inside a trap twice the week before so we weren't worried that he'd go in again. And we hadn't arrived at the oasis until peak feeding time was pretty much over. Nevertheless, before long he headed for the feeder inside the newly placed trap. Kelly thought to let him feed, then leave, none the wiser. But the slow-to-learn demon soared straight up into the top of the trap, totally forgetting the huge door he had come in a moment before. So Kelly had no choice but to assist him out of the trap. The bird took off, and we don't know if he'll return or not. I sure hope so. His gorget is filling in nicely. I'd love to see him in a few weeks with a brilliant new gorget. We shall see.

Meanwhile, I'll have to content myself with his partial gorget. He is record #34 for Texas.


  1. Carolyn. i was very sleepy at work today. Why? i stayed up until past midnight last night reading all your blog posts starting in 1977 forward. Wow very interesting--your oasis has taken huge amounts of work and i enjoy it mostly vicariously (only have visited twice)!
    I worry about you and your oasis. Is there anyone (relative?, local birder?) who can help you with watering and pump repair? I know you want to do everything you can but i worry about you breaking a hip or something.