ACE is well known for outdoor adventure activities from rafting to rock climbing, but this summer they are teaming up with me, Bill Hilton, Jr., and the New River Birding & Nature Center at Wolf Creek Park to host the inaugural New River Hummingbird Festival from August 13–15, 2010.
ACE’s Blackberry Campground area will be the gathering site for the weekend, focusing on hummingbirds — the world’s smallest and most energetic birds.
As the Nature Center consulting director, I have planned several activities to give visitors up-close-and-personal contact with Ruby-throated Hummingbirds that breed in the New River Gorge and migrate back to Mexico and Central America for the winter months.
On Friday, Aug. 13, up to 20 people can register in advance for a special 6-hour workshop during which they’ll learn about: hummingbird natural history from feeding to nesting to migration; observing and photographing hummingbird behavior; designing a hummingbird habitat; attracting and caring for hummingbirds in your own backyard, schoolyard, or nature center; reporting hummingbird observations via EarthTrek and The GLOBE Program; using hummingbirds as a teaching tool; banding hummingbirds; and more. The Friday workshop (9 a.m.-3 p.m., Blackberry Campground, adults only) is designed for teachers, naturalists, and serious hummingbird enthusiasts and costs $20, lunch included. To pre-register, contact Dave Pollard at (304) 574-4258 or e-mail Rachel Davis at email@example.com.
Friday night from 7-9 p.m. I’ll be offering an exciting and colorful presentation entitled “Ruby-throated Hummingbirds: From Your Yard to Costa Rica and Back!” which covers the six years I spent in Central America studying hummingbirds. As the only scientist conducting long-term research on ruby-throats in the Neotropics, I have plenty of secrets to reveal. (This talk is free at the Blackberry Campground and suited for ages 12 and up.)
More free events are scheduled 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 14 and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 15, including banding demonstrations. A few lucky visitors will have chances to hold hummingbirds in their hands. You’ll also be able to meet vendors featuring bird crafts and native plants important to the hummingbird diet. You can visit exhibits and have any and all your hummingbird questions answered.
For more about hummingbirds, visit my websites: