Thursday, August 22, 2013
Hummingbird Festival nears
September 6-8, Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs will host its 14th annual Hummingbird Migration Celebration & Nature Festival, where thousands of guests enjoy the natural beauty of North Mississippi’s most spectacular nature preserve.
This award-winning festival features hundreds of hummingbirds feeding in lush native gardens, as well as, renowned speakers on various nature topics, live animal shows, guided walks/wagon rides and a close-up look at the ruby-throated hummingbird, one of nature’s most fascinating creatures.
Strawberry Plains is the perfect site for these tiny birds to stop and refuel before the grueling non-stop flight across the Gulf of Mexico. The historic antebellum plantation, with an abundance of native plants and feeders, provides the insects and nectar helping hummingbirds gain the required weight for their 22-hour Gulf crossing. The beautiful Davis House, with its abundant gardens full of birds, makes this nature celebration a spectacular experience.
Traveling up to 2,500 miles each fall, hummingbirds delight us in our backyards, and more importantly, have become ambassadors for the needs of other wildlife species.
“Once a person decides to protect and conserve hummingbirds, they start protecting and conserving other species, from insects to native plants,” said Andrea Schuhmann, outreach director at Strawberry Plains. “This festival is a celebration of all things wild, a wonderful way to spend a day in a truly historic place.”
Visitors can see hummingbirds from inside the beautiful Davis House, as they flit through the gardens of Strawberry Plains. But nothing beats seeing these birds up close.
Bob Sargent and his team from the Hummer/Bird Study Group dazzle attendees with an exceptional view as they put tiny leg bands on the birds in order to better track their travels. If you think hummingbirds are small, you should see the delicate band that goes around their legs. The tiny, numbered bands enable scientists to determine how far south the birds go for winter, where they stop during their travels, and whether they return to the same sites year after year.
Expert speakers from across the country will provide presentations on snakes, bats, birds, insects, and plants along with guided walks and wagon rides. A unique host of local artisans will be selling nature-inspired crafts.
With Strawberry Plains’ unique combination of an extensive trail system, its 200 species of birds and this exciting festival line-up, visitors can enjoy a varied experience of nature and history.
Madge Lindsay, interim director of Strawberry Plains Audubon, said “Once you have experienced this beautiful event, you are sure to go away with a new reverence for the natural world. The festival includes something for the entire family while demonstrating through this spectacular natural model how one might restore their backyard or farm landscape to habitat for wildlife and birds. It is one of a kind and it’s beautiful.”
Native plant and wildlife experts will be answering questions about what kind of plants appeal to birds, how to place your feeders for maximum benefits, and why indigenous plants are easier to maintain. A large variety of rare native plants will be for sale at the festival.
Admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children age 5-12; admission for 12-passenger vans and buses is $10 per person. Parking is free and concessions are available.
For more information visit http://strawberryplains.audubon.org http://strawberryplains.audubon.org or call 662-252-1155.
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