Through "Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project", Holbrook Travel and Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History offers citizen science expeditions each year as part of the only in-depth long-term study of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds on their wintering grounds in the Neotropics.
Hilton has announced that spaces are still available for some upcoming expeditions. The first-ever expedition to Montibelli, Nicaragua in February 2013 has one space left, and a few slots remain for the February 2013 trip to Guanacaste Province in western Costa Rica and to Crooked Tree in Belize in March 2013. The expedition groups spend mornings catching hummingbirds and other bird species, and spend most afternoons taking natural history and cultural field trips to local destinations.
Although much is known about the behavior of this common hummer species within its North American breeding range, little is known about what these birds do the other six months when they're south of the border.
During 17 successful trips to Central America, master hummingbird bander Bill HIlton Jr. and his field assistants have discovered much about the Ruby-throat's territoriality, site fidelity and foraging behavior that was previously unknown to science. Since 2004, Hilton has banded nearly 1,000 Ruby-throats in Latin American countries. Every trip offers an opportunity to learn even more.
For details about these upcoming expeditions and to reserve one of the few remaining spaces, visit http://www.hiltonpond.org/TropicalTripAnnounceGeneral.html or holbrooktravel.com.