Designing effective measures to conserve hummingbirds requires accurate knowledge about their biology and environmental requirements. Predicting risks to populations and future status and viability of hummingbird populations is predicated on having accurate information on the present and past status. Scientific inquiry that is well-designed, carefully conducted, peer-reviewed, and publicly accessible is the key for providing answers. Unlike many other avian families, the published scientific record for Trochilidae is lacking in a number of areas.
PROJECT NAME: Combining remote-sensing and biological data to predict the consequences of climate change on hummingbird diversity
Claret Cup Cactus
PRIMARY INVESTIGATORS: Dr. Catherine Graham, Stony Brook University, Dr. Scott Goetz and Dr Pieter Beck, Woods Hole Research Center, Dr. Timothy Essington, University of Washington, Dr. Don Powers, George Fox University, and Dr. Susan Wethington, HMN.
KEY PARTNERS: NASA, USA National Phenology Network, UNAM, Institute of Bird Populations, Universidad de Guadalajara
FUNDER: This project is funded by NASA under their Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES-2010), Program Element A.30 Climate and Biological Response: Research and Applications. Project number: 10-BIOCLIM10-0094
SUMMARY: We will use classical statistical niche models, physiologically informed ecological niche models, Bayesian population models and plant-animal network models to evaluate the relationship between environmental data and biological data and to predict how environmental change will influence population persistence of hummingbirds. There are three main research objectives. We propose to combine time series data for hummingbirds with climate and remote sensing data to evaluate what changes have occurred in hummingbird populations. We will then look at variation in resources and physiological responses to environmental and climate conditions to determine why changes may have occurred and then predict how species, phylogenetic and functional diversity might be influenced by climate change.
PROJECT NAME: Develop a matrix of interactions between hummingbird species and their nectar plants
PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR: Dra. Maria del Coro Arizmendi and Claudia Rodriguez, UNAM
KEY PARTNERS: HMN, USFS-IP
SUMMARY: The purpose of this work is to compile all existing information on plants visited by hummingbirds, elaborating a database consisting on plant species on the rows and hummingbird species in the columns, and presence-absence of interaction. This database will be compiled using literature sources (peer reviewed, as well as thesis, reports and other www based information) to search for studied interactions. In a second phase, for each interaction where possible (reported in the original citation) the geographic position (latitude and longitude when possible), altitude, timing of the reported interaction (flowering and hummingbird presence), vegetation type, and full citation will be recorded. For plants recorded as important for hummingbirds’ phenological data can be determined using specimens in plant collections. As plant collections contain registers for multiple years, this info can be used to search for temporal changes in phenologies. These records can be mapped using a GIS tool and predictive models can be fitted to predict possible phenological changes that can affect hummingbirds.
PROJECT NAME: Interspecies interactions improve Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) nest success
PRIMARY INVESTIGATOR: Dr. Harold Greeney, Yanayacu Biological Station
KEY PARTNERS: HMN, AMNH-SWRS, Coronado National Forest, CLO, UNAM
SUMMARY: This project began in 2007 with the goal of studying the breeding biology and natural history of migratory hummingbirds in southeastern Arizona. During the first year we discovered that Black-chinned Hummingbirds (Archilochus alexandri) were choosing to cluster their nests around Accipiter hawk nesting sites and, by doing so, realizing increased nesting success. In subsequent years we began to study the intricacies of this interaction, discovering that Accipiter nest placement creates a behaviorally mediated trophic cascade by altering the foraging behavior of predatory Mexican Jays and creating a three-dimensional enemy-free nesting habitat for hummingbirds. The project runs annually from April to August at the Southwest Research Station.
Publications of HMN
- Powers, D.R., P. W. Getsinger, B. W. Tobalske, S. M. Wethington, S. D. Powers, and D. R. Warrick. (submitted). Respiratory evaporative water loss during hovering and forward flight in hummingbirds. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
- Moran, J.A., L. I. Wassenaar, J. C. Finlay, C. Hutcheson, L. A. Isaac, S. M. Wethington. (submitted). Migratory Connectivity of the Rufous Hummingbird, Selasphorus rufus
- Wethington S. M., C. Carrothers, D. L. Craig. 2010. Western Hummingbird Partnership Action Plan. See: http://www.hummonnet.org/pdf/201006whp_actionplan.pdf
- Greeney, H.F. and S.M. Wethington. 2009. Proximity to Active Accipiter Nests Reduces Nest Predation of Black-chinned Hummingbirds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 121(4):809–812.
- Wethington, S.M. and N. Finley. 2009. Addressing hummingbird conservation needs: An initial assessment. Proceedings of the Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics: Connecting Birds, Habitats, and People. 2008. McAllen, Texas
- Wethington, S. M. and B. A. Carlson, 2009 Costa’a Hummingbird (Calypte costae). In The Desert Bird Conservation Plan. California Partners In Flight (LINK)
- McCaffrey, R.E. and S. M. Wethington. 2008. How the presence of feeders affects the use of local floral resources by hummingbirds: a case study from southern Arizona. Condor 110(4):786–791.
- Greeney H.F., E. R. Hough, C. E. Hamilton and S. M. Wethington. 2008. Nestling growth and plumage development of the Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri) in southeastern Arizona. Huitzil 9(2):35-42.
- Powers D. R., K. M. Smith, S. M. Wethington, B. W. Tobalske, P. W. Getsinger, and S. D. Powers. 2008. The Effect of Some Physiological, Morphological, and Environmental Variables on Hovering Metabolic Rate in Hummingbirds. Program and Abstracts of Presented Papers and Posters: The Society for Integrative and Comparative Biology Annual Meeting. San Antonio, Texas.
- Wethington, S.M. 2008. Addressing hummingbird conservation concerns. Program and Abstracts of Presented Papers and Posters: Fourth International Partners in Flight Conference: Tundra to Tropics: Connecting Birds, Habitats, and People. McAllen, Texas
- Wethington, Susan M, George C. West, Barbara A. Carlson, 2006. Estimating abundance so trends in hummingbird populations can be detected. Book of Abstracts, 4th North American Ornithological Conference: Wings without Borders. Veracruz, Mexico.
- Wethington, S. M., 2006. Hummingbird migration: Identifying potential route boundaries and abiotic factors affecting abundance of migrants. Book of Abstracts, 4th North American Ornithological Conference: Wings without Borders. Veracruz, Mexico.
- Wethington, S.M.; West G.C., and Carlson B.A., 2005. Hummingbird conservation: Discovering diversity patterns in southwest USA. In Connecting mountain islands and sesert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Compiled by G. J. Gottfried, B.S. Gebow, L.G. Eskew, and C.B. Edminster. 2004 May 11-15; Tucson, AZ. pp 162-168. Proceedings RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agricultuer, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
- Wethington, S. M., S. M. Russell, and G. C. West. 2004. Timing of hummingbird migration in southeastern Arizona: Implications for their conservation. In Ralph, C. J. and T. D. Rich [eds.], Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas: Proceedings of the Third International Partners In Flight Conference. 2002 March 20-24; Asilomar, California; Volme 1: pp 646-651.. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191. Albany, CA. Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- Wethington, S.M.; West G.C., and Carlson B.A., 2003. Hummingbird conservation: Discovering diversity patterns in southwestern USA. Program and Abstracts of Presented Papers and posters. Cooper Ornithological Society 75th Annual Meeting.
- Wethington S.M.; Russell, S. M. 2003. The Seasonal Distribution and Abundance of Hummingbirds in Oak Woodland and Riparian Communities. Condor 105(3): 484-495.
- Wethington S. M. 2002. Violet-crowned Hummingbird (Amazilia violiceps). In A. Poole and F. Gill [eds.], The birds of North America. No. 688. The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Wethington, S. M., G.C. West, B. A. Carlson, N.L. Newfield, and S.J. Peters. 2002. Longevity records for North American Hummingbirds. N.Am. Bird Bander. 27(4):131-133
- Wethington, S. M., G.C. West, and B. A. Carlson. 2002. Studying hummingbird migration and monitoring their productivity and survivorship. N.Am. Bird Bander. 27(3):109.
- Wethington, S. M., and S. M. Russell. 2001. A snapshot of hummingbird migration in southeastern Arizona. North American Bird Bander 26:157-160.
- Wethington, S. M. 2000. Some effects of variability in nectar renewal-rates on the hummingbird foraging / plant-pollination mutualism. Ph.D. Dissertation. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.
- Wethington, S. M. 2000. The effect of nectar variability and abundance on Broad-billed Hummingbird foraging patterns. Ecological Society of America 85th annual meeting abstracts.
- Wethington, S. M. 1999.The effect of nectar variability on hummingbird foraging. Proceedings of the 1999 Hummingbird Workshop, 20-21 August 1999, Hummingbird Research Group. Brent Ortego, ed.
- Powers, D.R., and S.M. Wethington. 1999. Broad-billed Hummingbird (Cynanthus latirostris). In The Birds of North America, No. 430 (A.Poole and F.Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.
- Russell, S.M., R.O. Russell, and S.M. Wethington. 1994. Lucifer Hummingbirds banded in southeastern Arizona. N.Am. Bird Bander. 19:96-98