With regards to the small grants program, in these past few years the Western Hummingbird Partnership has worked to build an effective and sustainable hummingbird conservation program through research, monitoring, habitat restoration and enhancement, and education. WHP has had limited funding, with most projects in the $1,000 – $5,000 range, for activities that have benefitted the knowledge of hummingbird populations and their conservation and public awareness of hummingbirds, especially migratory species with ranges in western Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

Examples of projects that have been funded include those that have explored climate change impacts on hummingbirds, examined the habitat requirements of migratory hummingbird species, promoted habitat restoration, and/or demonstrated successful methods of engaging the public in hummingbird conservation, education and citizen science.

The following is a list of ongoing education and outreach efforts by supporting partners of the WHP. This section of the Western Hummingbird Partnership website is dynamic and will change as new projects begin and others end, as projects expand to include more and/or different partners, and as new conservation issues arise.

Project Lead: Dede Steele

Lead Organization: US Forest Service

Description: A native plant garden was planted in 2017 that includes nectar producing species for hummingbirds and other pollinators to improve the visitor experience at Rimrock Springs Wildlife Management Area (WMA), an established wildlife viewing and interpretive area. Many species native to the Grassland and Ochoco National Forest were planted that bloom sequentially to provide nectar for hummingbirds through the spring, summer and fall (e.g. Red Columbine, Hot-rock Penstemon, Richardson’s Penstemon, Bush Penstemon, Grey Rubber Rabbitbrush, Trumpet Honeysuckle, Nettleleaf Horsemint or other native and locally adapted nectar producing species).

The garden was planted with the help of local schools to promote conservation education. Several improvements improve visitor experience and make the area even more popular, e.g. installing benches along the existing paved pathway, providing additional interpretive signs about vegetation management techniques and local history of the surrounding area, removing exotic or invasive vegetation and planting native flora.

Project Lead: Ivana Noell

Lead Organizations: US Forest Service, Los Padres National Forest, Mt. Pinos Ranger District

Description: Working with partners, Frazier Mountain High School and Garden Club, the locally collected native seeds have been propagated for habitat restoration and public land enrichment at the end of 2017. The design includes a range of native pollinator-friendly plant species, such as, cobwebby thistle, Douglas’ wallflower, scarlet bugler, milkweed, and arroyo willow. These native plants support a range of native pollinators, such as butterflies, native bees, and hummingbirds.

An interpretive panel highlighting the hummingbird species serves to engage and educate forest visitors about the natural history of hummingbirds, emphasizing their role as pollinators. Smaller, individual plant name 3 identification signs would identify selected native plants, including nectar plants important to
hummingbirds.

The microgrant supports greenhouse infrastructure, materials, and supplies, which can sustain long-term, future plant propagation efforts to fulfill MPRD Sustainable Operations responsibilities and FMHS FFA student programs. This partnership holds great opportunity for the students’ education regarding native plants and pollinators as well as for their skill development in horticultural practices, resulting in substantial contributions to our pollinator garden. Overall, the project shares knowledge and experience with the community, offering informative presentations, interpretive materials, and engaging pollinator walks.

Project Leads: Jenny Hazlehurst, Dr. Erin Wilson Rankin

Lead Organization: The Regents of the University of California

Description: A significant proportion of flowering plants available in or around human habitation are either non-native ornamental plants or invasive plant species. This research of 2017, quantifies the impacts of non-native plants on (1) the diet of sedentary subspecies of the Allen’s hummingbird (Selasphorus sasin sedentarius) and (2) on pollination services by hummingbirds to native California plants. 

The results of this study can be directly used to inform ecosystem restoration and conservation efforts on the Channel Islands, and the
findings may be applicable to many other ecosystems where hummingbirds are important pollinators that are impacted by expanding human populations. There are also talks given to the public on the subject at the Catalina Island Conservancy and the Channel Islands National Park visitors center in Ventura, California.

Project Leads: Ruby Seitz, Penny Harris

Lead Organizations: US Forest Service, Willamette National Forest, McKenzie River Ranger District

Description: In 2016, the “Hummingbirds Forever!” project measured the success of meadow restoration activities, while engaging and educating youth and volunteers about the importance of hummingbirds and pollinators. Surveys were  conducted by volunteers and youth recording flowering plants and hummingbird presence in nine meadows in various stages of restoration. These surveys provided us with baseline observational data about restoration sites, what
activities are working, and what we should adapt.

The project also had a habitat restoration component for hummingbirds and other pollinators, through partners that also benefit other wildlife such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Lane Metro Youth Corps, as well as the McKenzie School District. Our ongoing habitat enhancement
includes restoring open conditions and native flowering forbs and shrubs in meadows, timber harvest gaps, and wetlands, while engaging youth crews and volunteers in these activities. In 2016, the Hummingbirds Forever! Project also supported and benefitted from two other complimentary projects: Western Bumble Bee Surveys and Bioblitz. 

Project Lead: Beatriz Maruri Aguilar

Lead Organization: Cadereyta Regional Botanic Garden

Description: In March of 2016, hummingbird conservation was further promoted at the Cadereyta Regional Botanic Garden, through three main activities: (1) the creation of a “Hummingbird Hub”: a section with native plants inside the Garden’s Botanic Collection, to offer resources and habitat to hummingbirds; (2) the installation of signs with information about features of hummingbirds and their ecological relevance, their habitat requirements for nesting and feeding, and cultural and historic facts, and (3) design and adaptation of several educative activities related to hummingbirds, to be implemented in the Garden’s environmental education program. 

The project also gave rise to a portfolio of educational workshops focused on the appreciation of hummingbirds through knowledge of their characteristics, their role in local ecosystems and their migratory habits.

Project Lead: Daniel Vasquez

Lead Organization: ProFaunaBaja

Description: In the fall of 2015, ProFaunaBaja staff coordinated a pilot project based in La Paz, Baja California Sur, Mexico. The project aimed to encourage the general public, especially youth groups, to report sightings of hummingbirds and host nectar plants. Daniel Vasquez collaborated with Raiz de Fondo, a non-profit organization in La Paz that maintains three community gardens in La Paz. He worked with Raiz de Fondo volunteers and staff to provide not only workshops about the basic of hummingbirds and species identification, but the groups worked together to build a hummingbird garden. 

In the workshop, it is emphasized that the importance of native plants producing nectar that serve as food for hummingbirds, along with the importance of people knowing and acquiring this type of plants and keep them in their gardens. As for the garden, since the project started it has been able to stand out in one of the main successes; the society identifies it as a center of information about
biodiversity and environmental education.