Thursday, September 16, 2010
Annual festival draws 8,000
By BARRY BURLESON
Walter Hubbard called it “a glorious weekend.”
The director of the Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, his staff and volunteers hosted the 11th annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration.
“Everything went smoothly,” he said. “We had approximately 8,000 people, and of course, it rained some Friday and Saturday. The Saturday rain definitely hurt our numbers, but it was a great Sunday.”
Visitors came from states such as Florida, Illinois and Texas, plus from neighboring states and communities all across Mississippi.
He said guests from Pensacola, Fla., were at the center Tuesday morning (after the festival) and “people from all over are visiting this week.”
Renowned hummingbird expert Bob Sargent and his team, the Hummer/Bird Study Group, banded 259 new hummingbirds during the three-day event.
“There were so many hummers, we had to cease the capture process a dozen times during the festival,” he said in an e-mail to Hubbard after the weekend activities.
“Never have I seen so many ruby-throated hummingbirds at this beautiful location.”
Many had the chance to feel the heartbeat of the bird and learn how to attract them to their own backyard.
The festival also featured much more than hummingbirds - including lectures and demonstrations with live bats, snakes and other wildlife, nature walks, a kid’s nature tent, a plant sale and various vendors.
Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, located just off Highway 311 on the outskirts of Holly Springs, showcases 2,600 acres of magnificent forests, grassland and native plant gardens, plus the majestic Davis House.
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