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Monday, May 26, 2014

Milestone banding day

Today Kelly banded his 500th Lucifer Hummingbird since he started his hummingbird banding project around six years ago (actually he made it to 501). We banded at CMO first but had mostly recaptures and ended up with a total of 499, one short of his goal. Two of the newly banded were recently fledged, so I'm glad to know that so far at least one Lucifer has nested successfully this year. They're nesting now too, so may fledge some as late as October.

Next we went to the Ervin's residence three miles from CMO and banded a couple more Lucifers there. Here is number 500 in Kelly's hand. (That's Suzy Ervin recording.)

Note birds hanging in bags in queue in the background.

And a drink of sugar water before being released.

Here's a shot of a male Lucifer taken in their backyard.

I never get tired of observing those precious marvels.

Back in Alpine the baby ducks enjoy their crumbles or crunchies (I forget what they're called) and like to sit in the shade of their nest box when it's really hot out. They're getting so big.

They are so cute! They learned how to forage (dabble) like the big ducks now.

The wild Mexican Duck had been attacking the babies endlessly, so my husband shot his pellet gun at him several days ago (against my vociferous protests, I might add). The villian departed from the pond or stays in hiding, and immediately peace descended. They've been a happy family ever since. Without cracked corn and the wild duck, the babies just might survive.

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