Photographer Feature: Cheryl Johnson

Volcano hummingbird in Costa Rica. December 2020.

Hummingbirds are fascinating to watch, and they are on their way to the Rockport-Fulton High School complex, 1800 Omohundro St., Sept. 16-19, for the 33rd HummerBird Celebration in Rockport and Fulton, according to a news release.

There will be guided bus trips and guided boat trips to birding spots in the area. The Hummer Homes can be visited by bus, or visitors can pick up directions to visit them on their own. There also will be a Hummer Mall with bird- and nature-related products. A special Hummer Breakfast will take place at the History Center on the morning of Sept. 18. Visitors will be able to check out Goose Island State Park and go birding with an expert. New this year is the Bird Feeder Decorating program at the Fulton Mansion on the afternoon of Sept. 16. Also, on the morning of Sept. 16, Aransas Pathways will sponsor a free card game for everyone to enjoy.

The HummerBird Celebration speakers will offer something of interest for everyone. There will be presentations on warblers, whooping cranes, monarch butterflies and hummingbirds, of course. The speakers will cover photography, bird identification, what attracts hummingbirds, birding by ear, and even an iNaturalist program.

Keynotes this year

 Cissy Beasley was born and raised in South Texas into an outdoors and ranching family. Among her list of photography awards and honors are four finishes as a top-five finalist in the South Texas-based Wildlife in Focus Photo Contest, winning the grand prize in 2019. She will describe award-winning images of indigenous and migratory birds across South Texas. Attendees will enjoy and appreciate the detailed looks at these specimens, as well as her stories behind the images. Her presentation will be at the 33rd Anniversary Dinner on Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. in the Saltwater Pavilion at the end of Rockport Beach. The dinner will include Texas barbecue, smoked chicken with all the trimmings, and dessert.

Sky Kings Falconry will present its program “Wildlife Revealed” in the auditorium Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. The falconry features hawks, owls, falcons, vultures and parrots. The program will focus on natural history, unique traits and the natural abilities of these incredible animals. Guests will see them up close.

 Sneed B. Collard III has written more than 85 books for young people, and he has spoken at numerous birding festivals and events. To learn more, visit his websites www.sneedbcollardiii.com and www.FatherSonBirding.com. His lecture, “A Father-Son Big Year of Birding and Beyond,” will be featured at 5 p.m. Sept. 18 in the auditorium.

 Since its inaugural fall event in 1988, the HummerBird Celebration has become one of the largest and most celebrated annual birding events in the U.S. with more than 3,000 attendees from all over the United States and some international participants each year, according to the release. For more information, visit www.rockport-fulton.org and select HummerBird Celebration in the event calendar.

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