Contributions to improve Hummingbird ringing

Hummingbird banding continues to be a challenge in terms of adapting equipment to the size of these birds and the need for an agile and optimal ringing system. We have developed and tested some new equipment that we want to share with the ringing community.


In recent decades, little progress has been made in the equipment for ringing hummingbirds and small sunbirds.
Particularly in the Neotropics and Africa, the rings do not usually arrive or when they are available they do not have the desired quality, for such a delicate activity.
Special pliers or ring rounders are also not used.
Working hand in hand for several years with experts in hummingbird and sunbird ringing we have tried to improve the quality of the bands and make them accessible to researchers, along with basic equipment. Everything for free thanks to the support of the Ornithology and Birding School.


New ring system

The new ring system abandons the classic strip that had to be cut. Now the rings are pre-cut with laser in diameters ranging from 1.9 to 2.55 mm

The new rings have eight diameters: 1.9, 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 2.55 mm and an option of rings numbered at one end so that if necessary they can be cut to another length, according to the tarsus of the bird.

The rings are made of 2.0mm thick aluminium which in the rounding device can be cut cleanly with a cutter.

They have a laser inscription giving the desired address and alphanumeric code.

Pliers and tweezers

Pliers with narrow jaws for all types of tarsi

We have tested a wide range of pliers suitable for legs and rings as well as various tweezers, some with built-in light. We recommend pliers with a jaw thickness of 1.5 mm

History and use in the world

The new style of rings and instruments were presented on May 6, 2022 at the University of Barcelona (Catalonia).
The first test with Hummingbirds was on May 14, 2022 at the Manu Bird Observatory (Peru). 

The Mexico Scheme Birds.MX  immediately incorporated the changes in protocol and the Ornithology and Birding School integrated it for Sunbirds (Nectariniidae) in various African countries.

This equipment is currently being tested in Colombia, Panama, the Dominican Republic and other Neotropical countries.

An essential tool: The Ring Rounder

The Ring Rounder is a precision instrument to replace the cumbersome strips of rings that had to be cut to size manually.

The Ring Rounder:

  • rounds all hummingbird ring sizes.
  • enables rings to be cut to any length.
  • allows any roughness to be smoothed out (this will rarely be necessary as the pre-cut rings have very clean edges).

Do you want to test the equipment?

If you work with hummingbirds and you need to improve your equipment or you simply do not have rings for these birds, we will gladly send you a sample.
Very important: This is an offer of solidarity with no commercial purpose. Our sole aim is to help those of us who share a desire to further the study and conservation of birds.


Chacon, G. (May 19, 2022). Contributions to improve Hummingbird ringing. BirdRing.

Guillem Chacon ringing hummingbirds at the Manu Bird Observatory

Upcoming experiences - Próximas experiencias - Expériences à venir

En los próximos meses haremos varias demostraciones en México, Panamá, Ecuador, Perú y Camerún. Avísanos y te invitaremos, totalmente gratis.
In the coming months we will do several demonstrations in Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru and Cameroon. Let us know and we will invite you, totally free.
Dans les mois à venir, nous ferons plusieurs démonstrations au Mexique, au Panama, en Équateur, au Pérou et au Cameroun. Faites-le nous savoir et nous vous inviterons, totalement gratuitement.


Chacon, G. (May 19, 2022). Contributions to improve Hummingbird ringing. BirdRing.

De julio a diciembre haremos 14 demostraciones en América, Europa y África