Audubon invites volunteers to track hummingbirds

  • Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Provided The hummingbird has long been a fascinating creature for nature enthusiasts.

The National Audubon Society has invited birders and nature enthusiasts across the country to help track the health of hummingbird populations with Audubon’s Hummingbirds at Home app. This citizen science project utilizes the power of volunteers to compile data at a scale that scientists could never accomplish alone.

Every spring, many hummingbirds migrate long distances and must eat several times their weight in nectar daily to stay alive. Hummingbirds visit our yards every year, looking for nectar from our gardens and feeders. As flowers bloom earlier because of warming temperatures, the impact on hummingbirds, which rely on nectar could be significant. Hummingbirds at Home collects data on how hummingbirds interact with food sources and offers researchers important insight on the effects of climate change and their well-being.

Matt Johnson is the Beidler Forest Director of Education.

“Consider this… the Ruby-throated Hummingbird’s wings beat over 50 times every second, its heart can beat more than 1,000 times each minute and the whole bird weighs less than a quarter,” he said. “If that is not amazing enough, these tiny birds often fly over the Gulf of Mexico each spring and fall during their annual migration. It’s safe to say that this bird needs all of the help it can get from us – that’s why this app and this project are so important.”

Participants can get involved by spending a few minutes as frequently as they wish to collect invaluable data from feeding areas in their communities. Audubon’s Hummingbird at Home app makes it fun and easy. There is no cost to participate and using the free mobile app or website makes it simple to report sightings and learn more about these remarkable birds. For more information visit www.hummingbirdsathome.org.

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