The Hummingbird Messenger
from the Hummingbird Society
April 16, 2020

Web-based version of our e-newsletter

Extraordinary Photograph Department!

Photo by José Francisco Haydu (Brazil)

This is the only bird in the world whose bill is longer than its body:  the Sword-billed Hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera).  Here it visits a flower (Passiflora mixta) that no other bird can pollinate, and it is easy to understand why! 

This is one of 13 superb images in our 2020 "Humming-birds As Art" calendar. We're already assembling our 2021 calendar and having great fun selecting yet another set of 13 fantastic images! Looking for sponsors, too...

Here's your chance:  make a BIG difference!

YOU MAY ALREADY KNOW how "matching funds" work:  generous donors to a non-profit [like the Hummingbird Society!] offer to match your donation one-for-one during a fixed period, effectively doubling your impact! This is an incredible offer, because it is so motivational.

The Hummingbird Society has just started its first matching funds campaign, and it will last until May 15.

Please consider helping the Society with your tax-deductible donation! You can do it online at this link. Or you can simply mail a check to our office at PO Box 20698, Sedona AZ 86341.

The match will be applied to these categories:
  • unrestricted donations from new donors
  • increased donations from those who have donated, if the donation is $100 or more
  • general, memorial and honorary donations of $100 or more
  • new memberships at any level
  • renewal memberships, if higher than your current level and at least $100
Here's how ours came about:  To inspire generosity, a group of members, spear-headed by Kate and Randy Safford--who came up with the idea--promised to match all qualified donations up to $6,000. If we receive the maximum in qualified donations, the Society will benefit by a total of $12,000. This is the first matching funds offer in our 24-year history(!), and we are very grateful to the Saffords and those who have joined them to create this matching pool. Don't miss this opportunity!

Ruby-throats Really Returning!
Ruby-throated Hummingbird male
Photo © Bud Hensley

If you live in the eastern half of the US (or almost anywhere in Canada except B.C.) you've no doubt been anxiously awaiting the dependable return of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to your area. You should know about two resources:  a map, showing the historical timing of their northward migration; and how the right nesting material can help you see more hummers in your yard.

The MAP for 2020 can be found here. Note: If you use the scroller on your mouse to enlarge the map. it will help to pinpoint your area.

The second resource:  putting out suitable nesting material near your feeders, which will encourage the females to build their nests near you. More further down this e-letter. 

A "Fun" Hummingbird Happening!

You are probably familiar with "Ranger Rick," a children's nature magazine published by the National Wildlife Federation. We are excited to share with you that in the April 2020 edition, the magazine includes a hummingbird story on its website, with free access on the web for three months (if you register with them). 

The story is about how an Anna's Hummingbird built a nest in Sedona [the Society's home!] and had to deal with a threatening 8-inch snow just as the eggs hatched.

In the print magazine, it is a 4-page spread entitled "Anna's Magic," with 8 photos taken directly from Beth Kingsley Hawkins' book, Anna's in the Snow.  You have read about her book in this newsletter before; you can still buy it from the Society here.  A great book to read to the kids or grandkids if you have extra time at home just now :)


For your editor, the fun part of this is that the male Anna's Hummingbird in the story is named "Ross Hummingbird."  The editor is flattered but admits he is not as flashy as his hummingbird counterpart in the story!  Too bad they didn't name the female hummer "Beth," which would have been a nice touch :)


Encouraging Hummers to Nest Near You

We recommend only one material for your hummers to use in nest-building:  unprocessed cotton. Fortunately, you can buy this for a modest price (typically $14-15) readily on the web; it is packaged and sold as "Hummer Helper."

It is perfect--neither too strong nor too weak. It is sold in an open metal rack, a good design that allows it to dry quickly if it gets caught in a shower.  The photo below was taken by Beth Kingsley Hawkins right here at our building, on her gallery's patio!

Hummer Helper
(If you have trouble finding it, email us and you can buy it from us.)

Don't forget!

You can help the Society help hummingbirds in two ways--by joining or making a donation-and don't forget to remember the Hummingbird Society in your will or trust!

Of course, all memberships and donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

H. Ross Hawkins
Founder and Executive Director

link to Sedona Hummingbird Festival

Photo: Wally Nussbaumer

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