Hummingbird Research

Our Director, Scott Rashid is one of a small handful of individuals in Colorado licensed to trap and band Hummingbirds. Scott has banded thousands of Hummingbirds over the years, mostly Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, but has banded Black-chinned, Rufous, Calliope and (outside of Colorado), Anna’s and Broad-billed Hummingbirds. 

In Colorado, there are two species of nesting Hummingbirds; the Black-chinned Hummingbird and the Broad-tailed Hummingbird. There are two other species that arrive in the state every year beginning in July. Those include the Rufous and Calliope Hummingbirds.

Other vagrants that have been documented in Colorado include the Ruby-throated, Broad-billed, Costa’s, Magnificent, White-eared and Anna’s Hummingbirds.

 

What we have found through our research

1) Through our research, we have found that female hummingbirds live longer then males. Our oldest female hummingbird lived to be 10 years old. yet our oldest male hummingbird lived to be 5 years.

2) The average Broad-tailed Hummingbird weighs about 3 grams. However, before they begin to migrate south, they can almost double their weight prior to migrating.

3) Adult male Broad-tailed Hummingbirds arrive on their nesting grounds before adult females.

4) Adult male hummingbirds tend to begin migrating before adult female and young of the year.

5) In Northern Colorado, Broad-tailed Hummingbirds arrive in the spring around April 15th each year.

6) In Northern Colorado, Rufous Hummingbirds arrive in the state around the first week in July.

7) Calliope Hummingbirds arrive in Colorado about a week after the Rufous.

8) We have banded thousands of hummingbirds in and around Estes Park, Colorado, yet have never had a recovery of a banded bird outside of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

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