Course Description: Human knowledge of hummingbirds is ever increasing through new genetic analysis techniques, better technology, and improved statistical analysis methods. Marking individual birds remains an essential tool for learning how long they live, how far they fly, where they go, whether they return, when they return, and how many are out there.This seminar will include both a demonstration of hummingbird banding and a walk afield to learn how hummingbirds use natural landscapes.
1.Explain and clarify the characteristics that distinguish a hummingbird from other birds.
2.Review the diversity of the hummingbird family and learn which species occur in Colorado and in RMNP.
3.Investigate how hummingbirds live in natural landscapes and their role as migratory pollinators.
4.Introduce the concepts of bird banding as a research tool and describe information gained from the practice.
5.Describe the challenges of hummingbird banding and demonstrate how these challenges are resolved.
6.Discuss the information gained from field research and how it has improved overall knowledge of hummingbird natural history with special emphasis on its relevance to hummingbird populations in RMNP.
Short-distance walks on primarily level terrain
Brief Instructor Biography (additional information available at www.rmna.org):
Tena and Fred are volunteer field researchers. They recently concluded RMNP’s first survey of hummingbird species and habitat. The ten year survey is giving new insight into hummingbird survivorship, behavior, courtship and nesting area fidelity, migration routes and timing, and populations. Their work is intended to provide current and future reference for resource managers and interpretive personnel.
Expectations:Professional conduct will be expected from participants at all times.Individual ideas will be respected.Except during course breaks, cellular phones, pagers, and personal entertainment devices are strictly prohibited in the classroom and during field sessions.
Car-pooling:Rocky Mountain Field Seminars courses utilize car-pooling to limit vehicles traveling into the Park.Car-pooling makes it easier to keep the group together, reduces transit time, and allows courses greater access because fewer parking spaces are required at destinations.In addition, it provides an opportunity for participants to discuss course material in small groups during transit.Typically, a few participants from each course volunteer the use of their vehicles for car-pooling to course locations.
Tentative Course Schedule:
Welcome and introduction to RMNA; meet participants and describe the seminar; discuss individual expectations, desired class outcomes, and procedures for the day
Depart for banding site in RMNP.
Arrive at parking area, hike to banding site; instructions on participant involvement; presentation on banding protocols and procedures; and, ongoing discussion of bird capture methods, proper handling and measurement techniques, and release procedure
Depart for SeminarCenter.
Arrive at Seminar Center; quick break.
Classroom presentation of the hummingbird family, commonly seen Colorado and RMNP species, results of the RMNP hummingbird survey, Q&A session,and course evaluations.
Remember to Bring the 10 Essentials:
RockyMountainNational Park recommends that hikers always carry the 10 essentials in their daypacks.
RaingearMap and compassFlashlight or headlamp
Sunglasses and sunscreenCandlesMatches or other fire starter
PocketknifeFirst-aid kitExtra layers of clothing
Sack lunch, snacks and water
Note:Rocky Mountain Field Seminars recommends that participants for all courses dress in layers and wear comfortable, sturdy hiking boots/shoes.Participants should be prepared for sudden changes in temperature and weather conditions.
Hummingbirds of North America, Paul A. Johnsgard, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
A Field Guide to the Hummingbirds of North America, Sheri L. Williamson, Peterson Field Guide Series, Houghton Mifflin Company, New York
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