Wildlife class captures, records, releases hummingbirds


HummingbirdsIn the cool of a mid-September morning, more than 30 senior-level natural resource and ecology management majors gathered to interact with wild hummingbirds, specialists and professors.
“This is one of the favorite outings of the students, because they really get to be very hands on,” said Dr. Luke Laborde, a instructor in the College of Agriculture.
The class, RNR 4011, seeks to equip students with knowledge to both inventory and analyze population and teach safe capturing techniques and data gathering skills.
 Hummingbird Banding
Late summer is peak migration for hummingbirds in South Louisiana. There are 330 different species of wild hummingbirds, and Louisiana is home to 13 varieties. Students began putting feeders up in August and maintained them weekly through cleanings and refills. The class got to see their work come to fruition Sept. 13 with more than 40 feeders present, actively pursued by the birds.
The RNR 4011 curriculum is designed to get students outdoors. These future professionals have a variety of opportunities to better prepare them as field workers once they complete their time at LSU.
“With a major like ours, there is no way to really learn the material without having hands-on experience,” senior Cole Wolf said. “We get the opportunity to do things like catch hummingbirds and trap deer and woodcock. Not to mention it’s really stinking cool.”
Ellen Farmer
Senior, Mass Communications
College of Agriculture Intern