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Ornithology Exchange

Bill Hilton Jr.

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Profile Information

  • Location
    York, South Carolina USA
  • Country
    United States

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  • Website URL
    http://www.hiltonpond.org
  1. Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit conservation, research, and education organization in York SC in 1982. It is the most active year-round bird banding site in the Carolinas with nearly 57,000 birds banded in the past 30 years. Studies include all aspects of natural history from vegetational succession to small mammals to general Piedmont ecology. A primary study species is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Archilochus colubris, of which nearly 4,500 have been banded locally. Through Operation RubyThroat, the Center also leads citizen science expeditions to Central America for the only long-term in-depth study of RTHU within their wintering range. The Center is designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Audubon and BirdLife International. Of note is "This Week at Hilton Pond," an on-going series of photo essays about all aspects of natural history; published on-line, the installments are archived as a rich source of information for students, teachers, scientists, and the general public.
  2. This initiative involves K-16 students, teachers, and citizen scientists in observing and reporting information about feeding, breeding, and migration behavior in Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Archilochus colubris. The project includes opportunities for college students and adults to participate in midwinter trips to Central America to capture, band, and observe RTHU on their wintering grounds and to collect data about the species' role in pollination of Neotropical plants. Operation RubyThroat is affiliated with The GLOBE Program and is an outreach activity of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History in York SC. Participants also report sightings of "out-of-range" vagrant western hummingbirds that appear in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
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