The weekend of July 17-19, 1998, was a very special one
for a number of hummingbird enthusiasts who had "met"
on the Internet, but not face to face. Master hummingbird bander
Sarah Driver hosted this year's edition of Hummerfest at Hummer
Haven, her home south of Springfield, Missouri--in the heart of
one of the continent's most productive Ruby-throated breeding areas.
|Sarah is removing a hummer from the trap. This hummer trap is a wooden framework covered by nylon mesh. The sides are attached to a hoop at the bottom, held up by a length of fishing line (see next photo) and released when the target bird is perched on the feeder inside. If the trap closes before the bird can escape, you have a hummer to band.
|This is me, pursuing the highly skilled art of fishing-line
holding. I'm having even more fun than the silly smile might suggest.
Hummers kept checking out my spiffy Hawaiian shirt instead of flying
into the trap!
That's Jim, Sarah's husband, back in the corner.
|Here I'm helping Sarah extract another bird from the trap. Well...I'm watching, anyway.
|I'm transferring a bird to Judy to be banded. That's my wife, Linda, in the background center. On the left is the notorious Pris from rec.birds.
|Chuck and Pris, from northeast Illinois.
|Troy and Judy, from Columbia, Missouri.
|Cindy from Pennsylvania, waiting patiently for her hummer
to take off. It took forever!
I think it just liked Cindy's gentle hand.
|Phyllis holds an immature hummer.
|Rachel and Melissa, young ladies from St. Charles, Missouri.
|Vickie and Nick, the girls' parents.
|Rick and Lisa thought they were hiding from the camera.
|Walt had wandered off into the Ozarks woods, muttering
something about "lightning", although the rain had stopped
that morning. A brief search for the errant Pennsylvanian, and his
quest was made clear to all: "They jush' don' make likker like
thish in Shtate College," was the most coherent sentence we could
get out of him.
Ah, well...no one's perfect.
|A group portrait of the hardest-of-hard-core hummer freaks.