Richard K. Simpson

Archives

In the end, things went very well, and the film crew seemed to have gotten all the shots they wanted. But before I get into how everything went, I wanted to give some background on the broad-tailed hummingbirds. Broad-tailed hummingbirds are part of a subset (~36 species) of all hummingbirds (330+ species) called the bee tribe. The bee hummingbirds are unique because they are widespread across North, Central, and South America, whereas… Read More

Things have been going very well so far. First off, we are in such a beautiful area – the Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tucson, AZ. These mountains are part of the sky islands (mentioned in a previous post) that are located throughout south-eastern Arizona. Essentially, the sky islands are a series of isolated mountain ranges that are surrounded by desert or grassland. This is one of the more northern chains, and is… Read More

In some very exciting news, I will be helping a nature documentary crew film hummingbird displays for PBS Nature! It started several months ago when Ann Prum, producer of Coneflower Studios, contacted me about filming broad-tailed hummingbird displays. She wanted to film the whole life history of broad-tailed hummingbirds from courtship to nesting to fledging, and I was to help elicit male dive and shuttle displays. Ann had previously worked with my Ph.D…. Read More

Yesterday, I finished my field work in southern Arizona on black-chinned hummingbirds. While I may not have filmed/captured as many hummingbirds as I was originally hoping, I was able to get some great data and will hopefully be back next year to finish up my work on the species. Now I am at home, for a few days, before I travel to South Carolina to visit my mom and attend a family… Read More

I now have uploaded several hummingbird videos to my YouTube channel! I have videos of shuttle displays for three species:  Broad-tailed hummingbird (from below)  Costa’s hummingbird (from below; from the side)  Black-chinned hummingbird (side A – from below; side B – from below) In addition, I have a cool video of a broad-tailed hummingbird illustrating the angle dependence of iridescent coloration

This will be a short update today, due to internet limitations, but much more to come once I’m done with my field work. I’ve been filming and trapping male black-chinned hummingbirds lately with success! I will upload a black-chinned shuttle video to YouTube as soon as I can, similar to this one of a broad-tailed hummingbird shuttle from my work last year. I’ll also upload a video of a Costa’s hummingbird shuttle, and… Read More