Studying hummers
Pedro Ibarra/Reader photo, Volunteers are needed to help track hummingbird activity in Southern Arizona.

Special to The Explorer

A project to collect information about hummingbird species in Arizona is being conducted by the Arizona State Parks department, Audubon Arizona and the Hummingbird Monitoring Network.

State parks are being utilized for scientific study. The state parks system includes "natural areas that are highly protected, managed, and critical biomes in Arizona," a release said.

Sonoita Creek Natural Area near Patagonia has been monitoring birds since January, and Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park will be a feeder-watch opportunity for new volunteers this fall.

Information on the diversity and abundance of hummingbirds in the Southwest U.S., southern Canada, and northern Mexico is expected to provide land managers "with information that will help protect natural habitats," a release said.

Grant partners hope the program "will inspire more conservation support as these citizen scientists collect important scientific results for this TransAmerican research program."

The project is funded by a grant provided by TogetherGreen.org, an Audubon conservation initiative made possible by funding and assistance from Toyota.

It includes regional biodiversity studies and investigation about the distribution and migration of hummingbirds. (see hummonnet.org.)

To learn more about being a citizen scientist and a hummingbird feeder-watch volunteer, read about the Arizona State Parks Rim Project at www.azstateparks.com/volunteer/v_rimproject.html, or call State Parks headquarters at (602) 542-4174.

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