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Hummingbird Banding Tools R&D (Lee's Tools)

Support hummingbird conservation today!

Today, quality tools needed to study hummingbird populations safely are not readily available, mainly because toolmaker Lee Rogers died from brain cancer over a year ago. He pioneered and produced quality precision tools for hummingbird researchers worldwide. While we mourn the loss of Lee, we are grateful that he left detailed specifications. Lee cared about hummingbirds and understood that to help them survive, reproduce, and thrive, we have to learn what stressors affect hummingbird communities. He made his tools to minimize the impact on hummingbirds while we investigate what is needed to improve their habitats.

Precise small measurements matter to hummingbirds, the smallest birds in the world, and Lee’s tools measured to 0.067mm accuracy, about the diameter of a human hair! This level of precision required to study hummingbird ecology and population trends requires unique custom-made tools. Making precision tools that function consistently within these tolerances is an engineering and manufacturing challenge.

While we have lost Lee, we did not lose his insights in this highly specialized toolmaking. Before his death, Dr. Michele Lanan began to learn how to make the tools and documented Lee making them. Michele is a professor of practice in the entomology department at the University of Arizona and has limited time to produce videos or create new tools.

We need your help!

Specifically, we are seeking $25,000 in donations for three purposes:
1) Complete the editing and production of the videos documenting Lee’s processes in making custom tools for hummingbird research that will aid in their conservation. These videos will ensure that the scientific community can consistently reproduce quality research tools that minimize harm to hummingbirds.
2) Secure the highly skilled labor, materials, and fabrication necessary to bring this complete set of hummingbird banding tools back into production. This expense includes the required research and development to troubleshoot, test, and fully develop the manufacturing and production process for a complete set of hummingbird banding tools based on Lee’s designs. Additional details are below.
3) Once the R&D is complete, we will offer scholarships with any remaining funds to students and researchers participating in training workshops that use the tools.

Thank you for donating to keep Lee's Tools available for researchers to help conserve these magnificent birds.

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