Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - 18

Fun facts about

hummingbirds

A hummingbird's heart is five times bigger
than a human's in proportion to its body size.

A group of
hummingbirds

is called a charm.

The average hummingbird

weighs less than a nickel.
Some hummingbirds travel

more than

2,000 miles each way on their spring and

ISTOCK.COM / SHARON JONES

ISTOCK.COM / BIRDIMAGES

fall migrations.

They don't suck nectar
through their long bills;

they lick it up with
their tongues.

Hummingbirds' feet are so small
that they cannot walk or hop but
can only perch.

Seeing a rufous hummingbird in Georgia was incredibly rare 20 years ago. Data from
master banders and homeowner sightings revealed that the birds' migration range
has expanded, and they now visit Georgia regularly during the winter months.

conservation issues. For example, you can remind them [that hummingbirds]
are insect eaters, so pesticide use affects them," she says.
Elliot is especially interested in gathering valuable data about the other
hummingbird species that migrate through Georgia. She begins banding in
earnest in winter, chasing down reported sightings of rufous hummingbirds
and 10 other species that have been documented in our state.
While our winter temperatures may seem too harsh for these tiny birds,
she points out that western species like the rufous hummingbird live as far
north as Alaska. For them, Georgia winters are mild by comparison.
Because not much is in bloom during the colder months, Elliot encourages homeowners to leave their feeders up all winter. If you see a hummingbird after the first day of November, she wants to hear from you. To reach her,
call any Birdwatcher Supply Co. retail store; visit birdwatchersupply.com for
locations in Georgia.
Elliot describes her efforts as "the ultimate citizen science." While only
a licensed bander can do what she does, there are other programs in which
you and your family can participate. Through programs like these, scientists
and the public can work together to understand more about birds and how to
protect them.
Helen Newling Lawson is a freelance writer in Forsyth County.

When you go
Smith-Gilbert Gardens has tentatively scheduled the next hummingbird banding
event for Sept. 12 but notes that this year's event may be conducted differently or
closed to the public due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visit smithgilbertgardens.com
for event details and location and to purchase any available tickets.

18

Georgia Magazine

August 2020

Be a scientist at home

Citizen science and other home-based
environmental-learning projects allow anyone
to make valuable contributions to research and
conservation. Here are a few to try:
* Pollinator Quest, from the Atlanta-based
nonprofit Captain Planet Foundation's free
Project Hero initiative, herofortheplanet.org,
includes hands-on environmental projects
to help kids attract hummingbirds and other
pollinators to their yards and community
greenspaces.
* The Georgia Department of Natural
Resources' Youth Birding Competition,
georgiawildlife.com/YBC, is another
engaging way to get kids and teens into
the fun of bird-watching.
* Audubon Hummingbirds at Home,
hummingbirdsathome.org, has community
science projects for bird lovers of all ages.
Using the website or app, you can record
sightings of hummingbirds in your "home
patch" or on your travels.
* Other citizen science programs include
Project FeederWatch, feederwatch.org; the
Great Backyard Bird Count, gbbc.birdcount.
org; and Cornell Lab of Ornithology's eBird
bird-watching tracker, ebird.org.


http://www.herofortheplanet.org http://www.birdwatchersupply.com http://www.georgiawildlife.com/YBC http://www.hummingbirdsathome.org http://www.feederwatch.org http://gbbc.birdcount.org http://gbbc.birdcount.org http://www.smithgilbertgardens.com http://www.ebird.org

Georgia Magazine - August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - August 2020

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Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - August 2020 - Contents
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