Automated tracking of energy balance in wild hummingbirds

Using micro-RFID transponder technology, we automatically detect and identify tagged hummingbirds at specially outfitted nectar feeder stations. This automated identification is coupled with monitoring of hummingbird mass during perch-feeding permitting precise and repeatable tracking of weight (as a proxy for energy status) over hours, days, and whole seasons. In doing this, we are able to determine shifts in energetic strategies associated with breeding and pre-migratory behaviour as well as determine the influence of environmental and biological factors on hummingbird energetics and survival.

Principal Investigator: Kenneth Welch

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