This past Saturday was the 3rd annual Hummingbird Festival at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, KY. Yew Dell is the former estate of the late commercial nurseryman Theodore Kline. It has been reopened as a horticultural display, education and research center for the region. There is a link to Yew Dell in the "links" section of my blog. Check it out. It is a very interesting place!
At the festival, trained volunteers were catching hummingbirds and banding them for tracking purposes. It was fascinating to watch the tiny creatures up close and personal. The volunteers took each bird's measurements and put a tiny band on the bird's leg. It was very intricate work! The birds were then released and they flew on their merry way.
Some interesting facts about ruby-throated hummingbirds:
- adult females are slightly larger than adult males
- they weigh less than a nickel but may double in weight prior to migration
- they can fly hundreds of miles non-stop (500 miles across the Gulf of Mexico)
- they live about 4-5 years if they survive the first year
- they eat their weight in nectar or sugar water and insects each day
Here are a couple of pictures of a female hummingbird in the hands of a trained volunteer at Yew Dell :