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Intermountain Bird Observatory Hummingbird Banding

Raised toward our $6,500 Goal
113 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on November 11, at 12:59 AM MST
Project Owners

Hummingbirds are returning soon!

March 27, 2017

Hello Hummingbird fans!

After a long winter, we are excited that spring is coming...along with all our favorite birds! Our migrant hummingbirds will be here before you know it. Be sure to mark your calendars for mid April and remember to put your hummingbird feeders out. The first few Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds usually pass through the Treasure Valley on their way to the mountains beginning around April 15th, and you should reliably see Black-Chinned Hummingbirds at your feeders in the Treasure Valley by around May 1st. (Not from the Treasure Valley? Choose the State and County you live in and use these eBird bar charts to figure out when hummingbirds will arrive in your neck of the woods) Did you know that male hummingbirds rely on food to attract their mates? Instead of singing a song like an American Robin or Yellow Warbler, male hummingbirds will guard your hummingbird feeder or a flowering shrub to get a mate. Females will mate with males in exchange for the food they are the better the food resources, the more mates a male hummer will get! 

Putting your feeder out in April when the hummingbirds are choosing their territories will give you the best chance of attracting the most hummingbirds to your yard. To attract even more hummers, try adding another feeder. If the feeders are spread out and too difficult for a single male to monopolize you may attract separate males and a few females to each feeder.

Visit us: We want to extend an invitation to you visit us at our hummingbird banding this summer in Idaho City. More info here

We're also doing breeding season songbird banding research along the Boise River this summer. You can learn more and sign up to attend here.

Thanks for your dedication to IBO and we hope to see you sometime this summer!

~the IBO hummingbird team

Summer Hummers!

March 03, 2016

Hello Hummingbird Fans!

The weather is already reminding us of spring, and we are gearing up for the breeding season. We can't wait for our hummers to return!

Over the winter our volunteer, Heather, has been diligently making 500 bands we plan to use this summer. After hours of meticulous cutting and shaping she's finally finished. Talk about a lot of work! And just in time for the birds to come back.

We have dates scheduled for banding events and would love to see you some time this summer. Check out our schedule and sign up to attend through EventBrite by clicking HERE. We have events schedule from May until August.

Be sure to share this information with family and friends so they can join in the fun this year.

Thanks again for your contributions that made this banding season possible. We couldn't do it without your support.

--IBO hummingbird team

We did it!!

November 09, 2015

Thanks to all of your generosity we've reached our goal! Our hummingbird project will be funded for 2016!

If you haven't contributed yet, don't let that 100% mark stop you. We still have some time left on our fundraising campaign.

The money we raise beyond our initial $6,500 goal will go toward printing educational signs for display at our hummingbird banding events. We've already begun designing these signs, and the first draft looks great so far!

One of our favorite parts of the new signs will feature some illustrations by local artist, Karyn DeKramer, diagramming the anatomy of a hummingbird tongue and how they drink from a feeder.

Here's a preview:

1 Day, $95 To Go!

November 09, 2015

Hello! We are so close to meeting our goal thanks to the incredible support you've given. With one day and just $95 more to raise towards meeting our goal we are asking one last time to please share our project with your friends, family, coworkers, neighbors, and anyone else who might be interested in our research. And of course, if you haven't already made a gift, please do. We can get there with your support!

We're Almost There!

November 07, 2015

Thank's to your incredible support, we are within $400 of our goal with just three days left to go. We need your support now more than ever to help close the gap. Please give if you haven't already and if you have, please share with everyone you know who may be interested. With only $400 to go, every gift gets us close to our goal no matter how large. 

To celebrate how close we are, we want to share with you how we make our hummingbird bands. Check out this 2 minute video of the band making process…we painstakingly chop and shape almost 500 of these bands each winter!

How much work does it take to run the hummingbird project each season? It takes more than 800 hours (420 volunteer hours and over 400 biologist hours), and 4,100 miles to make it happen. 

That includes:

Band making - 40 hours

Data entry/analysis/reporting - 80 hours

Banding  - roughly 60-80 hours per biologist 

Trapping and data recording– 80 hours per volunteer

That means if we paid our biologists and volunteers minimum wage to run this project, it would cost over $6,000!


Thanks to all of you, we’ve already raised enough money to cover fuel and most supplies for the 2016 season. However, we still need that final push to better fund the hummingbird project next summer. The remaining funding will go toward covering a portion of the 400 hours of biologist time. In the past, IBO biologists have had to donate their time to make the hummingbird project happen, so we are excited to reach our goal and help cover some of their band-making and data analysis time.  It's not glamorous but it's these little things that allow us to run the project year after year and keep our project ticking.

75% of the Way, 5 Days to Go!

November 04, 2015

Thank you to every one who has helped us get an incredible 75% of our goal! With 5 days left, we are excited to announce that a generous donor wanting to ensure we meet our goal will match every donation made to our project up to $1,250. If you haven't already given, please give. Even a little gift has a huge impact and now, it has double the impact! Please share with your fellow hummingbird enthusiast friends and double your donation power! With your support, we can reach our goal!

34% of the way there!

October 22, 2015

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and gotten us 34% of the way to our goal! If you haven't had a chance to support the project, please make a gift. Even a small donation helps us band more hummingbirds and continue our research! And most importantly, whether you've already given or are considering giving, please share our project with your friends and family!

To learn more about our project check out the video below!

Our way
of Thanking You



Contribute ten dollars! In return, we'll give you a thank-you shout out on social media!

14 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: January 2016



Contribute $30! In return you'll get a social media shout-out plus a personalized thank you email from the hummingbird crew with a photo of one of our hummingbirds!

24 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: February 2016



Contribute $60! In return you'll get the rewards listed above plus we'll mail you an exclusive IBO Hummingbird Bumper Sticker! Perfect for your car, laptop, or water bottle.

11 of 50 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: March 2016



Contribute $100! Along with thank yous and a bumper sticker, donors at this level will join us as a group on the first banding day of the spring to welcome back the hummers, and share in the excitement of recording the first recaptures of the season, newly returned from Mexico!

20 of 30 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2016


Early Bird

We just printed some Rufous Hummingbird hats, which we will sell next summer at our Hummingbird Banding events. Get yours before everyone else (and in time for the holidays!). Hat photo at:

0 of 10 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: November 2015



Contribute $200! Along with thank yous and a bumper sticker, you'll get to "adopt" one of the hummingbirds we band in 2016! We'll email you a certificate with a photo of your bird, it's band number, age, gender, and recapture history.

0 of 10 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: August 2016



Contribute $250 and become one of the crew! Along with thank yous and a bumper sticker, you'll get a limited edition IBO Hummingbird T-shirt with the inscription "Team Hummingbird 2016" and a guaranteed spot at one of our hummingbird banding events.

4 of 20 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2016



Contribute $500! Along with the thank yous, a bumper sticker, and a "hummingbird crew" t-shirt, you'll get a "sunrise pass". Experience the "morning rush" at the banding station when we see the most hummingbird activity. You and two friends will join a small group of visitors for the first half-hour of hummingbird banding before the main group of visitors arrive.

0 of 6 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2016



Contribute $1,000! Along with thank yous, a bumper sticker, and a "hummingbird crew" t-shirt, you'll get the chance to hold and feed a hummingbird once it has been banded! This job is normally reserved only for our full-time hummingbird volunteers. After some training, you'll hold a hummingbird between your thumb and forefinger and give it a sip of sugar water before releasing it. A once in a lifetime experience!

0 of 6 Claimed
Estimated Delivery: June 2016