The annual Warner Park Nature Center Hummingbird Celebration drew hundreds of people on Saturday in honor of this hugely intriguing little animal.
Visitors wandered between various booths and activities under dozens of bright red hanging hummingbird feeders, hoping to catch a glimpse of the fast-flying birds as they traveled south.
“Right now is the peak of hummingbird migration,” said WPNC director Vera Roberts. “They’re heading south, into Mexico, into Central America, and they sort of go down all the eastern United States down to the gulf coast of Alabama. So in Nashville, we are on this trajectory for this road.”
WPNC ornithologists have studied hummingbirds in central Tennessee for more than two decades. The period between August and September is the best chance for people in Middle Tennessee to see them.
“This is an opportunity for people who have never seen hummingbirds and for us to teach people what they do, why there are so many of them right now, how we do research, and what’s important for their conservation, and why they’re such cool, unique creatures,” Roberts said.
WNPC staff, volunteers and visiting researchers spoke with visitors about hummingbird migration, diet and, most importantly, banding. In the banding process, researchers place small, uniquely numbered aluminum strips on a hummingbird’s leg, which tracks its migration, as well as its condition, behaviors, and more.
Twelve booths welcomed visitors and families to activities for kids and adults, like suncatcher coloring, story time and even the chance to dance in hummingbird wings. Many have purchased hummingbird feeders in hopes of making their own homes a stopover on the birds’ future journeys.
For more information about the WPNC, its research and family events, visit wpnc.nashville.gov.