Lab member Lily Hou’s first publication: “Automated tracking of wild hummingbird mass and energetics over multiple time scales using radio frequency identification (RFID) technology” has been published in the Journal of Avian Biology.
The article is featured as the journal’s first cover image of the year, and is highlighted as an Editor’s Choice selection. The Editor’s Choice selection means that the article will be openly accessible for the rest of 2015.
The article describes a new method for automating the repeated measurement of hummingbird mass at multiple time scales. Specially outfitted feeder stations detect individual hummingbirds via implanted passive integrated transponders (PIT tags). Upon detection, the station records several measurements from an electronic balance upon which a perch is affixed. Using this approach, we show that we can obtain repeatable, reliable, accurate measures of hummingbird mass across individual visits, whole days, and even seasons.