A studio for bird study

Tag: hummingbird

Published in Western Birds 52(1): An update on the status of the Anna’s Hummingbird in Idaho, as well as documentation of the first breeding record for the state

by Bryce W. Robinson

I’m privileged to see my name on two publications in Western Birds 52(1), alongside some great people from the Intermountain Bird Observatory. Both papers are focused on the changes to the status of Anna’s Hummingbird in Idaho, and feature some paintings and a photograph of mine.

The main point from the first article led by Jessica Pollock – Number of over-wintering Anna’s Hummingbird in Idaho has substantially increased in the last ten years, and the species is now present year round in the state, perhaps as a resident.

The main point from the second article led by me – Documentation of the first successful breeding for the species in Idaho, as well as a discussion on why we can be reasonably sure these offspring are pure Anna’s and do not represent hybridization with a Black-chinned Hummingbird


Banding Calliope Hummingbirds in Idaho

by Bryce W. Robinson


Palm release of a male Calliope Hummingbird – Selasphorus calliope

Last week I was fortunate to join my friends Jessica Pollock and Heidi Ware of the Intermountain Bird Observatory for some hummingbird banding near Idaho City, Idaho. The banding location is located in the mountains of central Idaho, consisting of healthy Ponderosa Pine forests complete with associated bird life.


Last week was a bit early in the season, but we did have some luck catching Calliope Hummingbirds. We caught 7 birds, all males. Catching only males also indicates the early season, as in most species males are tasked with setting up territories before the arrival of females and are thus the first to arrive. The banding seemed to tell this story. Unfortunately the Rufous Hummingbirds weren’t around yet, but capturing a number of North America’s smallest bird was more than enough to satisfy my desire to see hummingbirds in hand.



Weighing a male Calliope Hummingbird.

The whole day was excellent, but the perhaps the most exciting part of the day came with a recapture of a bird that has been captured every year for the past five years. It’s remarkable to hold proof of the resilience and livelihood of such a small and well travelled animal.

To find out more about IBO’s hummingbird work, please visit their website and get involved.

What I See When I Work

by Bryce W. Robinson

Male Costa's Hummingbird- Calypte costae

I have an incredible job. I birdwatch for a living…

Today I had multiple opportunities with cooperative birds. I just thought I’d share what are daily birds where I work.

Nashville Warbler- Oreothlypis ruficapilla

Nashville Warbler- Oreothlypis ruficapilla

I’ve been noticing a great deal of Nashville Warbler’s moving through. The last two weeks were full of Orange-crowned Warblers. I didn’t see any today. Their migration peak for the area is most likely on its tail end.

Ash-throated Flycatcher- Myiarchis cinerascens

I see many Ash-throated Flycatchers. They are very timid birds, always hard to photograph. Today I lucked out with a semi-decent shot. I’ll take what I can get with this bird. They are great, charismatic birds. I love starting in the morning, hearing many birds, and among them the familiar coach whistle call of this Tyrant.

I really am blessed with an incredible job. Can’t wait till tomorrow.