Frequency of Feeder Visits

One of the most basic observations to be made of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) is when and how often they visit a feeder near the classroom.

Students can set up a tally sheet on which they can monitor several variables, including time of day when visits occur (classroom clock); how long visits last (hand-held stopwatch); and whether there is a difference between feeding habits of adult males (identifiable by their red gorget) or adult females (which can be told easily from the adult males through about the first week in June, after which young males and young females--which resemble adult females--begin to fledge).

If the hummingbird feeder hangs in a school Hummingbird Garden, observations can be broadened to determine which flowers the hummingbirds visit more frequently; whether they visit both flowers and feeder; and if visit patterns change through the course of the day.

All data that are collected can be compiled, entered into classroom computers, and charted--all of which helps improve math and technology skills.

If observations are made by different classes of students--for example, if they are made by a first period class and a sixth period class--have each period prepare a separate chart of its observations to see if the other periods can interpret the data.

NOTE: Please send descriptions and results (including photos) from your successful basic observations
Operation RubyThroat via PROJECTS.

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