Thursday, July 16, 2015

When Nancy Came Down

     Nancy came down the road from New Orleans (70 miles) in the winter  of the early 2000s.
Nancy Newfield works with LSU and travelled around South Louisiana during hummingbird migration season.  She stayed quite busy banding hummingbirds.  I honestly don't know if she is still so active, as I have lost touch with so many people from the area over the last 10 years.  But, when Nancy came down it was a fantastic experience I'll always treasure.
     We had a feeder just outside our office window and loved watching them. Those bad little rascals could be quite vicious with each other and even larger birds who came near their "territory".  We had met an ornithology student who was staying in the area.  Jeff Stratford contacted Nancy on our and another neighbors behalf.  He is the one who originally found the Great Horned Owl nest and taught us so much about birds and the local migrations.

Nancy and Jeff collecting hummingbirds from her homemade trap.  Quite ingenious with a remote control trap door that she shut whenever one flew in to the feeder.

Hummingbirds are in the bags and complaining noisily.

Nancy's mobile office.  The amazing thing about it all is how the bird goes into a state of torpor when held.  Sure looked like they were dead - but only zoned out.

They are so tiny and so lightweight.  In your hand they almost feel like they're NOT there.

Here she's blowing the feathers to see if the bird had gained enough weight to make the long journey over the Gulf of Mexico.  She also banded it after weighing and recording all it's vitals.  Then she added a bit of color on its forehead for easy tracking by other bird enthusiasts who reported its siting.

These kids had the thrill of a lifetime letting them go after Nancy did her magic.

This little fella hung around the feeder for a few days before the big flight.

     We go about our busy days hardly ever noticing the marvels all around us.  Thanks Nancy and Jeff for making us aware of all the beauty of God's creation that surrounds us every day.  I've become more attentive to the little things in life and become more grateful for God's majesty. 

     If you're wanting to know more about these little jewels, Nancy has some books on Amazon you can check out.  And no, she is not aware I'm plugging her books.  She is just a remarkable woman who needs the recognition she is due.

So, look around this weekend - stop and smell the roses - and enjoy God's beauty,


  1. They're so TINY! And there were hummingbirds in the bags? That is so COOL!!!

    1. And they were hopping mad in there - vibrating like crazy.

    2. This is so cool. I had no idea they went into a torpor stage.

  2. That is remarkable. I have a feeder and there is one hummingbird scout that visits in early spring each year. It flies right up into my face and zips away. I put out the feeder and they arrive about a week later. I've never touched one though. They definitely have "small-bird" syndrome. Haha!


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