Insights on hummingbird travel, life span revealed

November 9, 2014 by Keith Ridler
Green Violetear at a flower. Image: Wikipedia.

Hummingbirds are giving up some of their secrets.

The perfecting of placing tiny numbered bands on their in the last decade has led researchers to discover hummingbirds can live longer than 10 years as opposed to the two or three once thought likely.

And astonishing migrations have been found, with one bird caught in Florida showing up a few months later and more than 3,500 miles away in Alaska.

In the United States, there are some 225 banders, a skill so unique it takes years of apprenticeship.

Their steady stream of capture and recapture data is offering new insights into what for many is a delightful backyard visitor with an overabundance of personality.

Explore further: Hummingbirds' 22-million-year-old history of remarkable change is far from complete

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