Winter hummingbird projects have been conducted for several years throughout the southeast United States and along the coastal bend of Texas. Banders cooperating in these projects have developed a network of contacts throughout a region and travel to the site where wintering hummingbirds are reported by their network. These hummingbirds are banded if possible and data is collected. Over these past years, much information has been gathered about the migration patterns of these birds. With these efforts, the number of wintering hummingbirds has proved to be many times greater than number previously expected.
Although wintering hummingbirds have been reported across this area of the Concho Valley in past years, reports were rare and mostly undocumented. With the encouragement of some our colleagues from other regions, we attempted to investigate any reported sightings this winter. During this first season, our network was not well developed but we listened and checked sightings. However, we did find an opportunity to travel to Uvalde County in January where we investigated winter hummingbirds with the guidance of our friend Bob Rasa. In a matter of hours, we banded five winter hummingbirds representing four species. We banded two Allen's Hummingbirds, one Rufous Hummingbird, One Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and one Anna's Hummingbird. We look forward to expanding our network in that area and continuing our efforts there next season. In January, we were able to locate three hummingbirds when hummingbird hosts contacted Cathy Brown at the Hummer House. We banded one Rufous Hummingbird at a residence west of Christoval and another Rufous Hummingbird on the west side of San Angelo. These two were the first wintering hummingbirds ever banded here. An Anna's Hummingbird was located in a third location but the property owner was not comfortable with the bird being banded.
Without an established network in the Concho Valley, these three birds were well above our expectation for the first season. With proper publicity, we hope to encounter greater numbers for the second season of our local effort.