Cindy Cartwright's Hummingbird Project

Ornithologist Cindy Cartwright  is on of the few allowed to band hummingbirds

Hummingbirds are small birds with long, thin bills. The bill, combined with an extendible, bifurcated tongue, allows the bird to feed upon nectar deep within flowers. The lower(mandible) can flex downward to create an wider bill opening; this facilitates the capture of flying insects in the mouth rather than at the tip of the bill.

The Bee Hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae) is the smallest bird in the world, weighing 1.8 g (0.06 oz) and measuring about 5 cm (2 in). A typical North American hummingbird, such as the Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), weighs approximately 3 g (0.106 ounces) and has a length of 1012 cm (3.5-4 inches). The largest hummingbird is the Giant Hummingbird (Patagona gigas), with some weighing as much as 24 g (0.85 oz) and measuring 21.5 cm (8.5 in).

Most species exhibit conspicuous sexual dimorphism, with males brightly colored and females displaying cryptic coloration. Iridescent plumage is present in both sexes of most species, with green being the most common color. Highly modified structures within certain feathers, usually concentrated on the head and breast, produce intense metallic iridescence.

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The Lecture

On August 13, 2008, St. Andrew's Green Team will hold the second in a series of lectures related to the environment. Cindy Cartwright is the founder and project coordinator of the Ontario Hummingbird Project. Cindy will provide information about the hummingbird study, including the impact of human activities on hummingbirds. She will also provide practical advice about what each of us can do to help these remarkable little birds.

Rev. Creola Simpson said "By focusing on these tiny creatures, we hope that members of the community will get involved in creating a healthier environment both for hummingbirds and for humans. St. Andrew's 'green team' was formed to explore how church could become a better steward of the environment. One of their goals is to raise awareness of environmental issues with church members, elected officials and the broader community. The first lecture in June focused on health risks related to chemical pesticide use."

Everyone is invited to attend the lecture with Cindy Cartwright on Wednesday August 13th at 7:00 pm at St. Andrew's on Albert Street. Admission is by donation and proceeds will be used to support further educational events and green initiatives at St. Andrew's. There will be refreshments and an opportunity for discussion with Cindy following her presentation.


Mary Sylver, Co-clerk of Session

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church

519 797 2258