Photo: Journal of Avian Technology
The two photographs above were taken at the University of Toronto's Koffler Scientific Reserve a few kilometres north of the village of King City (where I live), which is a few kilometres north of Toronto, Ontario. The photos are part of avian research being conducted at the K.S.R. (a.k.a.'Jokers Hill') by Lily Hou, Michael Verdirame and Kenneth C. Welch Jr. Their research project is entitled "Automated tracking of wild hummingbird mass and energetics over multiples time scales using radio frequency (RFID) technology. The abstract published on this research states in part: "In a field study in southern Ontario, wild hummingbirds were captured, subcutaneously implanted with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags, and released over a three-year period. Tagged hummingbirds were detected at specially designed feeder stations outfitted with low-cost, low-power RFID readers coupled with a perch secured to a digital balance. When tagged birds visited the feeder, transponder detection initiated the recording of the perched hummingbird's mass at regular intervals continuing as long as the bird remained. This permitted a nearly continuous record of mass during each visit. Mass data collected from tagged hummingbirds showed consistent trends at multiple temporal scales: the individual feeder visit, single days, and even whole seasons. These results further confirm that RFID technology is safe for use in the smallest birds". How cooperative of the Jokers Hill 'Hummers', but if you've got to have some nectar...you take it where you can get it.
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