June 13, 2013 | Volume 43, Number 23

Expert plans to band local hummingbirds

Fred Bassett, a national hummingbird expert, arrives in Haines Friday, June 14 to band rufous hummingbirds.

Bassett recently banded 350 rufous hummingbirds in Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau this year and he hopes to band even more in Haines during his visit. “I’m hoping to band as many hummingbirds as I can,” said Bassett.

There has been a spike of rufous hummingbird numbers in Georgia, Florida and Alabama, and part of Bassett’s trip is to determine where those hummingbirds are coming from.

“My migration study will help us understand the migrating process, figure out how long rufous hummingbirds live and could help determine some unknown factors about the bird, as well,” Bassett said.

Marlene Mooring will be accompanying Bassett and will be bringing him to specific hummingbird feeders at people’s homes, including feeders along Lutak Road and Skyline Drive.

If you have a hummingbird feeder already set up at your home and are open to allowing Bassett to come and band the birds, call Mooring at 766-2731.

Bassett will also be presenting a slide show on different types of hummingbirds and the process of banding them at the library beginning 4 p.m. Friday.