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Master Naturalists: 25th Anniversary HummerBird Celebration in 2013

By By Paul and Mary Meredith
Aug. 29, 2013 at 3:29 a.m.

Visiting homes on the tour during Hummerbird Celebrations, people see lots of birds including the buff-bellied like this one approaching a feeder.  They are not as common as ruby-throats, which can cluster at feeders in the hundreds and sometimes thousands. The less common species are a treat to observe and classify on the fly.  Visitors may even get the treat of seeing one banded at the bird banding site.

2013 HummerBird Celebration

Thursday (afternoon only) - Nature Speaker

Keynote: Lucifer Hummingbirds at 5 p.m.

• Friday (starting at 9 a.m.) - Various Birding Subjects, including Hummers; Keynote: Raptor flights in the Auditorium, 5 p.m.

• Saturday (starting at 9 a.m.) - Shorebirds, Hummingbird Behavior and Conservation; Keynote: Hummers from South America to the Arctic, 5 p.m.

• Sunday (morning only) - Hummingbirds; Exclusive showing (11:40 a.m.) - "Chasing Hummingbirds-A Video Journey of The World's Most Fascinating Hummingbirds"

HummerBird Celebration 2013 at Rockport and Fulton - the 25th anniversary celebration - is Sept. 12-15. Ruby-throated hummingbirds star in this celebration during the hummers' fall migration. Other species likely seen include rufous, black-chinned, buff-bellied and Allen's hummingbirds.

The event offers topics and activities for various interests such as hummingbirds, raptors, shorebirds, other birds, butterflies, habitat development and conservation.

Self-guided Hummer Homes

Thursday through Sunday, the self-guided Hummer Homes are open dawn to dusk. For Thursday visitors, maps are available at the chamber of commerce for a list with directions.

Bay Education Center - Free Events

At 1 p.m. Thursday, explore "The Diversity of Habitats in the Coastal Bend" that yields bird species from tiny hummingbirds to whooping cranes, the tallest birds native to North America. Enjoy the "Science on a Sphere" presentation at 2 p.m.

Opening reception

Thursday is the opening reception and an art exhibit, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Rockport Center for the Arts. The center is the only Texas venue for "Birds in Art," the special exhibition of artists celebrating the form and flight of birds in a variety of styles.

Hummer banding

Hummingbird banding is always very popular. Two-hour bus trips to Hummer Homes Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning take participants to Hummer Homes to see hummingbird banding with Kelly Bryan, master bander. You may even get the thrill of releasing a hummer that has just been banded.

Speaker programs begin Thursday afternoon, continue all day Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning. Friday and Saturday, there are keynote speakers at 5 p.m. Sunday morning offers an exclusive showing of "Chasing Hummingbirds - A Video Journey of The World's Most Fascinating Hummingbirds" at 11:40 a.m.

Keynote speakers

At 5 p.m. Thursday, keynote speaker Kelly Bryan will speak on "The Lucifer Hummingbird in West Texas."

At 5 p.m. Friday, keynote speaker Kevin Gaines will present "Raptors Revealed," including raptors from Sky Kings Falconry in flight in the auditorium.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, keynote speaker Juan Bahamon will present "Hummingbirds of the Americas: from Patagonia to Alaska."

At 11:40 a.m. Sunday is James Currie's presentation "Chasing Hummingbirds - A Video Journey of the World's Most Fascinating Hummingbirds."

Bird photography and nature journaling classes at Rockport Center for the Arts: Kathy Adams Clark, wildlife photographer, will offer "Hummingbird Photography" Friday and Saturday. Bruce Sherman, wildlife photographer, will offer "Photographing Birds of Texas" Friday and Saturday. Stephen Fisher, wildlife photographer, will offer "Bird Photography Gear - from iPhones to Super Telephoto Lens" Friday and Saturday. Elizabeth White and Glenn Olsen will offer "Nature Journaling" Friday morning.

Half-day bus birding trips

Half-day bus birding trips led by expert birders are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday mornings. Friday at Fennessey Ranch, see birds and wildlife on a private ranch managed for wildlife.

Saturday, go birding at Hazel Bazemore County Park, the hawk watch site with the highest raptor counts in the U.S. Sunday, observe shore birds from boardwalks at Tule Lake and Indian Point.

Boat birding trips

Thursday afternoon, all day Friday and Saturday and Sunday morning, Capt. Tommy Moore gives birding trips on "The Skimmer."

Two-hour boat trips depart Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday a four-hour brunch on the bay trip, including a boxed lunch, departs at 9 a.m.

Sources: Rockport HummerBird Celebration; rockporthummingbird.com

Paul and Mary Meredith are master naturalists. Contact them at paulmary0211@sbcglobal.net.

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