By Keith Bruno
This Labor Day weekend, consider making a contribution to community science in the West by helping to chart hummingbird migration.
As natural blooming cycles begin to senesce with cooler temperatures, the entertainment show in our gardens and at our feeders will slowly give way to a mass exodus. Over the next several weeks, black-chinned, broad-tailed and rufous hummingbirds will head to points south to spend the upcoming months.
Let’s help avian ecologists understand these cycles more fully by helping to document who’s still hanging out.
Audubon Rockies will help facilitate and tally population numbers for each species in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah by working with iNaturalist to gather data points. The “weekend” will begin at 12 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 5, and end at 12 a.m. on Sept 9.
Here are a few simple steps to participate:
• Register for National Hummingbird Weekend (https://rockies.audubon.org/events/national-hummingbird-weekend).
• Create a free iNaturalist account.
• Download the iNaturalist app for iPhones or Android.
• Review iNaturalist’s instructions and practice using the app (see below).
Sept. 5-9, submit your hummingbird observations on the iNaturalist app on your phone or the iNaturalist website on your computer.
iNaturalist is an online social network with a free app and website that provide a place to record and organize nature observations, meet other nature enthusiasts and learn about the natural world. You can use it to record your observations, get help with identifications and view other people’s observations.
If you’re interested in finding out about more local birding events, visit www.weminucheaudubon.org to get involved with your local birding chapter.