Monday, August 26, 2013

Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival is a Great Success!

Knoxville's Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival was a big hit again this year with more than a thousand visitors attending.  Visitors were treated to hummingbird banding, heard educational speakers, watched wildlife demonstrations, and enjoyed vendors with plants, nature related arts and crafts, and, of course, food!

Mark Armstrong, Knoxville's Master Hummingbird bander was assisted by a team from the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society (KTOS) and visitors were able to see hummingbirds expertly banded, measured, and weighed, and each bird released safely back into the wild.
Photo credit:  Billie Cantwell

While Mark was banding hummingbirds, other visitors enjoyed wildlife demonstrations, including parrots, a non-releaseable ground hog and other mammals, and a lovely female American Kestrel exhibited by Stephen Lyn Bales of Ijams.


I abandoned my art exhibit twice to listen to speakers, including David Unger of Maryville College on "The Good Wolf", a presentation that included the myths surrounding the public's fear of wolves and a very interesting report on the beneficial impact of reintroducing wolves to Yellowstone National Park.  Scientists found far more benefit to the ecosystem than they expected.

Biologist David Pitts, below, shared his fascinating study on Ruby-throated hummingbird nesting and the female hummingbird's amazing nesting behavior which has never before been documented.
You probably know by now that female hummingbirds do all the nest building and rearing of young.  They often nest more than one time in a season.  But did you know that they may be laying eggs in one nest while still feeding young in another? Amazingly busy creatures!  More about this interesting lecture in a later blog post.
The festival was packed with vendors including nature crafts, art and photography, plants for your hummingbird garden, and a variety of other nature related vendors including hummingbird feeders, hummingbird swings, and other aids to help your enjoyment of birds.




  Below, Tom Howe, of KTOS, helps a young visitor look through binoculars.
And Cyndi Routledge, below, shows off a Tawny Emperor that rests on her finger.  There were a number of these butterflies around the nature center grounds and visitors had fun viewing them as they landed to feed on salt and minerals.

Stephany Porco, a self-described "butterfly geek", was more than happy to receive the butterfly from Cyndi and study it more closely.
Below, my exhibit table at the festival with watercolor prints, note cards and festival logo mugs (now my favorite coffee mug!)    
It was fun to see my art walking around the festival on logo T-shirts worn by all the KTOS volunteers.  The shirts were also sold to visitors to raise funds for the non-profit organization's conservation projects. 
Below, the beautiful logo banner that welcomed visitors to the festival.  You can find prints and note cards of this watercolor on my website at the following link:  Vickie Henderson Art.
The festival was co-sponsored by the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society and Ijams Nature Center.  KTOS is a non-profit organization that promotes the enjoyment, scientific study and conservation of birds.  Ijams Nature Center seeks to increase knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the natural world by providing quality environmental education and nature related experiences.

Links and resources:
More about hummingbird banding and hummingbirds on this blog
To see a discussion of this painting in process:  Hummingbird Studies
More on hummingbird art
Ruby-throated hummingbirds

1 comment:

  1. And a good time was had by all ;) It look slike a fun festival Vickie. I enjoy things like this. There is a place you would like in my county called Yew Dell Gardens and they have done a Hummingbird program in the past. I love your art work of course, and look forward to seeing more about your Hummingbirds. I also posted some of those sweet birds this week. Take care~

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