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Field ornithologist bands hummingbirds for research

 

Miranda Anderson/Daily Globe

FIELD ORNITHOLOGIST Allen Chartier weighs a hummingbird during a presentation of hummingbird banding in Marenisco Saturday morning.

MARENISCO - Field ornithologist Allen Chartier, of Detroit, banded several hummingbirds at a local residence in Marenisco Saturday morning.

"It's a project I've been doing with hummingbirds since 2001," Chartier said, "It's a very specialized form of banding."

According to Chartier, banding hummingbirds takes "a federal and state permit, steady hands, patience and a lot of training."

The banding process includes taking measurements for each individual bird then marking the beaks with a bit of paint before releasing them back into the environment.

"I've been banding songbirds for longer," Chartier said, adding songbird bands are normally pre-made and shipped.

However, he used handmade bands for the hummingbirds.

"The birds are so small, it takes a different skill set," Chartier said.

Hummingbirds may be banded to help study site fidelity, or the willingness of the birds to return to a specific site. It may also help examine the size of the birds' territory.

"I'm hoping to expand my research into the Upper Peninsula," he said, "I'm looking for research sites in Wisconsin and Michigan."