Photo by Sue WatsonElizabeth Sherman, chaperoning a group of Oxford Elementary School students, gets to release a hummingbird.
Jennifer Stuvee of Grenada displays some of her creations.
Photos by Sue WatsonHorton, a four-pound, great-horned owl, is the center of attention at the Mississippi Wildlife Rescue group. Kate Friedman, a former employee with Strawberry Plains Audubon, now works with “Memphis Kids in Nature,” a non-profit.
Sophia, Rose, Josiah and Isabella Fleer look at the metamorphosis of a monarch. This stage is the chrysalis. The children are homeschooled.
Nancy Tharp, and Jennifer and Paul Lasky, learn about animals from Jackie Henne-Kerr, outreach educator with the Mississippi Museum of Natural Science.
Rae Bibb, of Moscow, Tenn., helps with sales of crafts and herbs.
A resounding success
Holly Springs’ largest tourist attraction, the Hummingbird Migration & Nature Celebration at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center, was a resounding success this year, according to center director Mike Muraco.
Although the official numbers of birds banded by volunteers with the Southeast Avian Research group will not be known for a few days, the birds were plentiful and the number of visitors was as good as last year, he said.
Friday and Saturday were the strongest draws for visitors, but there was a steady flow of guests all day Sunday despite some rain. The number of guests for the weekend came to about 6,000, he said.
“Saturday was the busiest Saturday we have had in years,” Muraco said. “These are the most hummingbirds we have seen in a number of years. And there were more volunteer workers this year than ever.”
The most popular attraction this year was the monarch butterfly propagation program, Muraco said, and this is a first for Strawberry Plains.
Community involvement was also at an all-time high.
Marshall Academy cooked the food again this year and also took care of the parking.
A newcomer this year with a booth was the Marshall County Historical Museum.
And Canon Camera joined the fun by putting up a tent and letting visitors take pictures with its high-end cameras. Photos were processed on site.
“It was a nice promotional,” Muraco said.
Some hummingbirds stay within the continental boundaries of the United States while others migrate south in the fall and return in the spring. Some species migrate as far north as Canada in the spring, and return to Central America in the fall.
And there are West Coast species that migrate as far as Alaska, Muraco said.
Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the festival, and planning will start soon, Muraco said.
“We will sleep a week or so and then get together and compare notes,” he said.