Master Naturalists: Rockport's 2012 HummerBird Celebrations
HummerBird Celebrations at Rockport-Fulton are amazing. This year's celebration is Sept. 13-16. Ruby-throated hummingbirds are stars of this celebration featuring fall hummingbird migration. Other hummer species likely to be spotted include black-chinned, buff-bellied, Allen, and Rufous hummingbirds.
There are lots of other activities to enjoy. As many Gulf Coast residents and visitors already know, it's amazing how much there is to enjoy at HummerBird Celebrations. This year will be no exception.
Hummingbird banding is very popular. Two-hour bus trips are available Friday through Sunday morning to take participants to Hummer Homes, where they can see banding teams at work. You may even experience the thrill of releasing a hummer that has just been banded.
Variety of activities
Some additional activities include photography classes, speakers and programs about a variety of topics, half-day birding trips by bus (and boat and kayak), and a raptor exhibit.
Birding trips, exhibits
A trip visits Fennessey Ranch, Tule Lake and Indian Point shorebirds. Another visits Hazel Bazemore County Park Hawk Watch (to view raptor migration build to its peak). Boat and kayak birding trips will also be available.
An outdoor raptor exhibit will offer visitors the opportunity to see raptors up close and visit with their handlers from Sky King Falconry.
This year's celebration speakers include noted experts in hummingbirds and other birds, plus experts in wildlife photography and habitat experts. Moreover there will be keynote speakers Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Thursday's keynote speaker will be Master Hummingbird Bander Kelly Bryan, speaking on "Jewels of the Mountains and Deserts - West Texas Hummingbirds."
Friday's visitors can experience the thrill of seeing raptors from Sky Kings Falconry flying overhead in their outdoor exhibit. Saturday, Kevin Karlson of Cape May, N.J., will share highlights of "Birds on the Wind: Miracle of Migration."
Stop by the chamber of commerce for a list with directions to Hummer Homes available for viewing on Thursday.
The Bay Education Center will offer a program on "The Diversity of Habitats in the Coastal Bend." The habitat diversity supports bird species from hummingbirds to whooping cranes, the tallest bird native to North America. They also will have a Science on a Sphere show focusing on the atmosphere, oceans, land and/or solar system.
And there will be a kayak birding trip early Thursday morning and also a bus birding trip and winery tour.
Some other celebration activities
Presentation topics hummingbirds, birds, butterflies and developing your yard to attract them. Talks are scheduled Thursday afternoon through Sunday afternoon and most topics are repeated.
Coming soon from us
There's still more to share about the celebration, so we'll share more with you next time.
Sources: Rockport HummerBird Celebration; rockporthummingbird.com
Paul and Mary Meredith are master naturalists. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.