Posted: March 20, 2012, 12:00 a.m. PDT
Those jewel-toned jets that we call hummingbirds inspire awe and celebration throughout the New World. Hummingbird aficionados across the country like to share their affection during one-day or longer events that often include educational elements about these New World species.
This sampling of hummer festivals ranges from California to Mississippi and from June through September. To learn of more events closer to you, check with a nearby bird club or National Audubon Society chapter. (You can find the closest NAS chapter here.)
For example, in June, enthusiasts in Arizona can converge at The Arboretum at Flagstaff for a hummingbird festival on Saturday the 23rd. This informative events includes presentations and activities by Arizona Game & Fish Department, Northern Arizona Audubon, The Hummingbird Society and Adobe Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The program focuses its appeal on families with children, gardeners and photographers as well as the general public who’ve paid admission to enter the arboretum.
The next month offers Feliciana Hummingbird Celebration in St. Francisville, La. On July 27-28, Feliciana Nature Society will host events that include hummingbird banding stations in two private gardens, giving attendees the chance to see humms in close detail as they’re captured, weighed, measured and given identifying leg bands.
August brings Sedona Hummingbird Festival on the 3rd to 5th. This Arizona event plans to encompass presentations focused 80 percent on humms as well as garden tours, hotspot bus trips, a banding station, wildlife rehabilitators and an opening gala with a live auction.
Farther west in Central California, the 14th annual Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration Aug. 11 offers the possibility of six hummer species: Black-chinned, Anna's, Costa's, Calliope, Rufous and Allen's Hummingbirds. The free event in Weldon includes walks, birdfeeding workshops and an information booth.
Tucson Bird & Wildlife Festival on Aug. 15-19. The field trips visit locations that might offer looks at Broad-billed Hummingbird, White-eared Hummingbird, Berylline Hummingbird, Violet-crowned Hummingbird, Blue-throated Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird and Lucifer Hummingbird among others.
The next weekend in August proves that the southern-tier states aren’t the only ones to celebrate hummbirds. On the 18th and 19th, Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah in Henderson, Minn., celebrates Ruby-throated Hummingbirds with presentations, workshops, garden tours, a banding station and children’s activities.
Moving southeast to Holly Springs, Miss., aficionados can congregate for Hummingbird Migration Celebration. Texas also contributes to hummer appreciation with HummerBird Celebration on Sept. 13-16. In Rockport and Fulton, the educational event includes self-guided garden tours, presentations and hummingbird banding stations.