I wonder sometimes how I can fall more in love while sketching, but it happens frequently.
In this case, the Ruby-throated hummingbird had already captured my heart before I even began. But then I experienced the intimacy of seeing more deeply and boom, my fondness grew in leaps. And even though these sketches of a captive held hummer may pull at your heart strings, remember these are tenacious, fiesty little birds. It helped me to imagine the hummer cussing the handler rather than thinking of the chirps as distress cries.
I recently observed the banding of Ruby-throated hummers at a nature center near my home and learned some of what researchers are discovering. Fourteen different species of hummingbirds have been documented in the eastern United States during the winter in recent years and in places where no one expected to find them.
And the documentation of these bird's wintering patterns relies heavily on volunteers like you and me, who leave their feeders up after November 15 when most Ruby-throats are long gone to warmer climes.
For more information about winter feeding and the discoveries possible with banding click the links.