Recent Posts

View More

14th Year of monitoring

On Thursday June 13th we held our first hummingbird banding and monitoring session of 2019.  This marks our 14th year of running this project on Grouse Mt. 

Hummingbird numbers have been in decline and very few studies were being carried out as to why and what possible causes could be contributing.  Grouse Mountain teamed up with the Hummingbird Monitoring Network out of Arizona to provide data on what species and numbers are using our mountain top to feed and breed.

We've had some fantastic data over the years including recaptures from other areas of British Columbia where other banding stations are monitoring birds.  We've also recaptured a bird that had been previously banded 8 years earlier - adding to our longevity information on hummingbirds.

Our sub-alpine environment provides critical data on the importance of migration stop over points and the overall health of the birds that we are seeing at our station.

An Interesting trend

Our first session on the 13th had us work with 18 hummingbirds of two species.  Our traditional mountaintop species is the Rufous Hummingbird - one of the most wide-spread hummingbirds and the one with the longest migration as they head to Mexico each year and back to BC and Alaska to breed.

The Anna's Hummingbird is the other species we see and it has been increasing it's range every year as it adapts to human influenced environments.  The Anna's Hummingbird has become non-migratory and instead feeds on human planted food and on feeders to survive the winter in our region.

This session marked the first time where Anna's Hummingbirds have outnumbered the Rufous with 13 Anna's banded and only 5 Rufous (the photo here is of the gorgeous Male Rufous we banded yesterday).  This will be an interesting trend to monitor to see if the numbers of Anna's keep increasing each year.  Stay tuned for updates as our summer monitoring program progresses!