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Veronica's Random Dose - The Hummer/Bird Celebration - A Celebration of the Hummingbird
A Hummingbird Migration Celebration 2009 in Holly Springs, MS.
Due to their unique plumage, colors, habits, and size, hummingbirds have become a favorite among bird watchers and nature lovers alike.
It is no wonder then, that a special day has been set aside to celebrate and encourage appreciation for these amazing and fascinating creatures.
Fittingly named the Hummer/Bird Celebration, for twenty-two years natives and out-of-townees have flocked to Rockport/Fulton, Texas, to witness a spectacular event.
* The Birth of the Hummer/Bird Celebration.
According to the book, Hummingbirds - Jewels in Flight, by Connie Toops, "Rockport and Fulton, Texas, lie along the migratory flyway for ruby-throated hummingbirds. During the September migration, fifty to two hundred of the little travelers may dart about at residential feeders or in lush stands of Turk's cap, local red wildflowers".
While this spectacular show was not well known among those outside of Rockport, in the fall of 1998, Jesse Grantham (a 20 year veteran Audubon wildlife sanctuary manager, now the coordinator of the California Condor Recovery Program in association with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Ventura office) was in the company of two local Rockport birders as he became an eyewitness to the hundreds of hummingbirds swarming at the artificial food sources provided by the local residents who were maintaining feeders for their winged visitors.
The sight was so spectacular that he was quoted to say, "I began to wonder how we could share this event with others. That day, the idea of a Hummingbird Celebration was created."
Pictures from a 2007 Hummingbird Celebration in Holly Springs, MS.
A Great Read
Attract Hummingbirds to Your Backyard
Perfect for Birdwatching
* What to Expect at a Hummer/Bird Celebration.
The goal behind such a unique celebration is to encourage appreciation of hummingbirds, to educate others about what these fascinating creatures eat, why they migrate, how to preserve their natural habitats, how to create a habitat that will attract them to an individuals backyard, and more.
Therefore, a lot of work and planning goes into setting up workshops enabling hummingbird experts to share their knowledge with the locals and the out-of-townees.
In addition, this time provides local residents the opportunity to open up their well maintained, and hummingbird friendly yards so visitors can watch the spectacular show these awe-inspiring creatures put on.
While the locals may witness the occasional rufous and black-chin hummers migrating through their area, it is the ruby-throated hummingbird that is the most common hummingbird to migrate along the Texas coast.
This mass migration, which hosts up to three thousand ruby-throats on peak autumn days, is unparalleled elsewhere. - Hummingbirds - Jewels in Flight.
So spectacular are the shows these hummingbirds display, that the late Connie Hagar - commonly and endearingly called the "Texas Bird Lady" - wrote, "One can sit all day ... and watch the birds flying into and out of blossoms, perching on small twigs, and caching minute insects by running out their long tubular tongues."
While there are Hummer/Bird celebrations/activities in other states, with its 22nd annual celebration this year on September 16-19, 2010; Rockport/Fulton,Texas is definitely the birthplace of such a unique experience.
* Places That Will be Holding 2010 Hummer/Bird - Hummingbird Celebrations.
According to http://audubonmagazine.org/birds/birds1003.html, there are several places this year that will be holding Hummingbird celebrations.
- March 19-20: South Carolina Hummingbird Festival, Woodford, SC (803-568-3550)
- August 7: Kern River Valley Hummingbird Celebration, Kern River Preserve, Weldon, CA (760-378-2029) - 12th annual
- August 28-30: Henderson Hummingbird Hurrah, Henderson, MN (507-248-3824) - 2nd annual
- Two middle Saturdays in September: Xtreme Hummingbird Xtravaganza, Lake Jackson, TX (979-480-0999)
- September 10-12: Hummingbird Migration Celebration, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, Holly Springs, MS (662-252-1155) - 11th annual
- September 16-19: Hummer/Bird Celebration, Rockport, TX (800-242-0071) - 22nd annual
If you are anywhere near these locations, why not make arrangements to attend?
As Jesse Grantham, one of the originators of this beautiful and educational celebration so eloquently put it, "From the very beginning, I thought this diminutive little bird could be the vehicle for encouraging people to have a greater appreciation for nature," he said.
"The response has been overwhelming, with interests going far beyond just looking at hummingbirds. People who come are discovering that the celebration is educational, thought-provoking, and fun. These educated folks are going to be the ones to make future decisions on what happens to our country's wildlife." - Hummingbirds - Jewels in Flight, by Connie Toops.
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