- Established 1982 -

HOME: www.hiltonpond.org

Operation RubyThroat
2015-16 Tropical Hummingbird Expeditions to Central America

(Updated 6 Nov 2015)


All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

Each winter since 2004-05, Dr. Bill Hilton Jr.--executive director of Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History--has offered excursions for teachers, citizen scientists, and other nature enthusiasts to Central America to observe and band Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (RTHU) on their wintering grounds. He has led 24 trips of these highly succesful trips to five countries. An internationally recognized hummingbird expert and educator-naturalist, Hilton is the only scientist conducting long-term systematic studies of RTHU in Central America, with 798 banded in western Costa Rica, 239 in eastern Costa Rica (where "RTHU are not supposed to be"), 62 in Guatemala, 143 in Belize, and two in El Salvador; that's 1,243 RTHU banded in the Neotropics--far more than the 46 that had ever been captured there prior to Hilton's first expedition.

All trips are under the auspices of Operation RubyThroat: The Hummingbird Project and logistics are handled by Holbrook Travel. No field experience is necessary--just a willingness to help discover new information about ruby-throats on the OTHER end of their migratory route.

NOTE: Alumni of any Holbrook Professional Development Expedition--including past Operation RubyThroat trips--are eligible for a $100 discount on each of two or more Operation RubyThroat excursions in a calendar year. New participants may also get a discount by signing up for two trips in a given field season.


NOTE: Unless otherwise noted, "Weeks" are actually nine days long,
including a travel day on either end.

Trips fill quickly and some already have only a few slots remaining. Prices cover all land costs (lodging, food, activities, instruction, etc.) and are based on 12 participants; air fare, tips & exit tax extra. Click on a trip name below for a detailed itinerary and other info. To reserve your space, contact:
Debbie (Sturdivant) Jordan at Holbrook Travel
toll-free at (866) 748-6146

NOTE: Multi-trip & alumni discounts are available as we follow
Ruby-throated Hummingbirds during migration throughout
Central America.

--- 2015 EXPEDITIONS ---

•Winter 2016•

27 Feb-6 March 2016
9 days--Itinerary & pricing to be announced

Current weather for Managua, Honduras:

Find more about Weather in Managua, NK 

•BELIZE 2016•
(see 2014 description for typical itinerary)
18 Mar 2016
Crooked Tree/Bird's Eye View Lodge
8 days--Itinerary & pricing to be announced

Current weather for Belize City, Belize:

Click for Belize City, Belize Forecast 

For complete reports on all of Operation RubyThroat's successful Neotropical Hummingbird Banding Expeditions, please visit
This Week at Hilton Pond at the following links:


See a write-up about the 2006 trip in the
May/June 2006 Costa Rica Outdoors magazine

All text & photos © Hilton Pond Center

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Dr. Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.