Few wild bird species capture the imagination and provide as much enjoyment – even entertainment – as do hummingbirds. Watching hummingbirds is almost mesmerizing. Their color, their speed, their lack of fear and our ability to observe them so closely helps create an affinity for hummingbirds.
For years I have told people that hummingbirds are one of the bird species that keeps Jay’s Bird Barn in business! I think everyone loves hummingbirds. In fact, I don’t think I have ever met a person that didn’t like hummingbirds. They are so easy to attract, it seems that almost everyone has at least one hummingbird feeder in their yard.
If you have been fascinated by hummingbirds and would like to learn more about these flying jewels, I have good news for you. The Hummingbird Society, located in Sedona, Arizona, will be hosting the 2nd annual Hummingbird Festival Aug. 2-4 at Sedona Red Rock High School. I attended last year’s event and was so impressed by the amount of work that went into making it such a great success.
The Hummingbird Society is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996. Its mission is to ‘teach people about hummingbirds, and they will understand them better; and from that understanding and caring, will come support for their protection’. Becoming a member of the Society only costs $30 per year, and your membership helps support conservation efforts as well as education outreach.
Hummingbirds are found only in the New World – an interesting fact when you consider that many of the habitats where hummingbirds are found exist on other continents. One might think that hummingbirds would be found in Africa, or in Australia, or in Hawaii, but this is not true. In North America, we have about 16 species of hummingbirds, but moving south, particularly into South America, there are hundreds of hummingbird species.
There are 338 known species of hummingbirds in the world. Unfortunately, 34 of these species have been designated at risk of extinction by BirdLife International. That is ten percent of all hummingbird species! A great deal of conservation efforts are needed – and this is the primary purpose and role of the Hummingbird Society. I encourage you to check out this organization, and a good way to do this is to attend the upcoming festival.
Some of the scheduled events for the Hummingbird Festival include:
• Presentations by hummingbird experts from around the world
• Garden Tours: Visit private homes and walk their gardens to see how other people are attracting hummingbirds to their yards
• Sunrise Breakfast at selected locations that are considered to be ‘Hummingbird Hotspots’ where they attract huge numbers of hummingbirds
• Hummingbird banding by licensed hummingbird banders at one of the Festival’s ‘Hummingbird Hotspots’
• Birding trips by local bird guides to two different locations-Page Springs Fish Hatchery and Oak Creek Canyon
• Exhibitors and vendors who will have a variety of hummingbird related products available for sale during the three-day event
Registration and tickets are required for many of the events, including the Gala Dinner, the Sunrise Breakfast and the Garden Tours. Tickets for some of these events are only available online, so time is of the essence. Garden Tour tickets are for sale online and at the door, but are subject to availability. Judging by how successful last year’s event was, I would encourage you to register right away by going to the Hummingbird Society website at www.hummingbirdsociety.org.