Sedona Hummingbird Festival 2013

Including bio's and synopses

For Timetable and Schedule of Presentations and other Events can be found under the tab Schedule 2016 above.

2016 Sedona Hummingbird Festival Presentations

The high point of our Festival is a series of presentations by noted experts in many aspects of hummingbirds, delivered mornings and afternoons of July 29, 30, and 31. No other hummingbird festival offers this dedication to hummingbird education! It is our intent always to have at least 75% of the program content be about hummingbirds.

A special lecture on Saturday focuses on hummingbird conservation.

All presentations will take place in the Sedona Performing Arts Center (SPAC) located at the Sedona Red Rock High School, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona AZ, a modern, air-conditioned facility which seats 750 people and has the latest in audio/visual technology.

Hummingbirds in a changing world: what are the challenges that hummingbirds face? What can we do to help? Conservation Lecture

     Dr. Susan Wethington

Susan WethingtonSYNOPSIS: Changing land use patterns, habitat loss, and changing climate conditions are significant drivers that affect hummingbirds' ability to survive and thrive. The Hummingbird Monitoring Network is working with multiple universities and organizations to understand and predict how hummingbirds will respond to these changes. In this presentation, Dr. Wethington will present information about hummingbirds, some recent research results that suggest how hummingbirds may respond to these changes, and offer suggestions on how each of us can help hummingbirds thrive.

BIO:  Dr. Susan Wethington envisioned and is building the Hummingbird Monitoring Network (HMN), a science-based, project-driven hummingbird conservation program. She is the Executive Director of HMN, one of three co-founders of HMN, and has a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and an MA in Mathematics from the University of Arizona. HMN is a network of collaborators, communities, and citizen scientists dedicated to the conservation of hummingbird diversity and abundance throughout the Americas. HMN investigates what hummingbirds need to survive, successfully reproduce, and maintain thriving populations through science-based monitoring, research, education/outreach and habitat restoration/enhancement. HMN is actively working with partners in Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, and throughout western USA.



Other Presentations

Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest

     Julie Zickefoose, Headliner

Julie Zickefoose, writer, artist, NPR commentator, and presenter at the 2015 Sedona Hummingbird FestivalSYNOPSIS: Why and how do baby songbirds develop so quickly, some launching into flight only 11 days after hatching? In 2002, Julie Zickefoose began to draw and paint wild nestlings day by day, bearing witness to their swift growth. Over the next 13 years, Julie would document the daily changes in 17 bird species from hatching to fledging. Baby Birds is the enchanting result, with more than 400 life studies that hop, crawl and flutter through its pages. In this talk, Julie shares her influences as well as her artistic process, a must-see for the aspiring natural history artist. Art and science blend in every Zickefoose pursuit, as the scientist's relentless curiosity joins the artist's quest for beauty. The work, wonder and fun of studying nestlings, including being foster mother to orphaned hummingbirds, chimney swifts and bluebirds, makes for an irresistible and highly inspirational presentation.

BIO:  Julie Zickefoose makes her living interpreting what she finds wonderful, beautiful, fascinating, and disturbing about nature, especially the boundary where it intersects with people. Her job is to look closely, figure out what might be going on and how she feels about it all, then share what she finds. She has parlayed this job description into two well-received books: Letters from Eden:  A Year at Home In the Woods, and The Bluebird Effect:  Uncommon Bonds with Common Birds. She's now at work on a third magnum opus: Baby Birds:  An Artist Looks Into the Nest, a book about the day-to-day development of nestling songbirds, as interpreted in words and watercolors made directly from life. Her blog, Julie Zickefoose on Blogspot, launched in 2005 and now entertains around 30,000 unique pageviews per month. Julie lives with her family on Indigo Hill, an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary near Whipple, Ohio, where 193 bird species and 75 butterflies have been recorded to date! Artist, writer and naturalist, author of Letters from Eden, The Bluebird Effect, and Baby Birds: An Artist Looks Into the Nest

Julie will be available for book signing at lunchtime each of the 3 days.

Birds of the Verde Valley

Dr. Richard Armstrong

Dr. H. Ross Hawkins, presenter at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, and founder of the Hummingbird Society

SYNOPSIS: Rich will cover all four seasons of Birds in the Verde Valley/Sedona area.

BIO:  Rich Armstrong received a PhD in Nuclear Inorganic Chemistry from Stanford. He spent 5 ½ years in the Army as a nuclear and chemical officer, including jumping out of airplanes in Korea and a Professor of Chemistry at West Point. He also spent 15 years in Army Reserves, retiring as a Major. He worked 20 years for Texaco and was part of the team that invented long life coolant. He has been married to Nanette for 29 years, and they have birded together in Texas, Oregon, most of North America, and now Arizona for 5 years. He is the NAAS [Northern Arizona Audubon Society] steward of the Sedona Wetlands, is in charge of the Sedona CBC [Christmas Bird Count], and has led many field trips for NAAS.

The Amazing Hummingbirds of Ecuador

     Juan Bahamón, M.D.

SYNOPSIS:  Ecuador has the second-largest number of hummingbirds of any country in the world. With over 130 species, the variety is nothing short of amazing. Through his superb images, Dr. Bahamón will transport you to this hummingbird paradise.

BIO:  I am a neurologist, but my real passion is to take artistic portraits of hummingbirds. To research these tiny subjects, to scout the location where they live, to learn their behavior and antics. I observe these flying beauties during different lighting conditions, I choose the lens that will give me a close encounter and wait and wait until the bird does something interesting or gives me a flattering profile, then as a maniac, I take as many pictures as possible and study them over and over until I am satisfied with a creative way to depict these miracles of Nature.

During my regular job as a neurologist, I am constantly confronted with pain, suffering, frustration or sadness from a malfunctioning human brain that I need the balance that hummingbird photography gives me to experience beauty, normalcy and the peacefulness of nature. My soul and my body then get recharged so I can again be a therapeutic physician. I have received no formal education in photography nor in ornithology. I am self-taught, but after 20 years of countless failed trials, finally I have developed the techniques that allow me to finally freeze for posterity these tiny super-photogenic subjects in a picture that will give credit to their magnificence.

I travel up and down the American continent with about 200 lbs. of sophisticated photography equipment looking for new species. I also love the challenge of visiting new sites or habitats, to meet other hummingbird enthusiasts and finally able to give lectures or presentations to share my art and knowledge, so our fellow humans continue to admire and protect for posterity these invaluable gifts that mother earth has shared with us. Please see my portfolio at

 Hummingbird Garden Design

      Mark Fleming

SYNOPSIS: There is much we can do to make our home landscapes attractive to both ourselves and to urban wildlife. Some aspects of good garden design are universal to all urban wildlife and some are quite specific to hummingbirds. There is more to consider than just having plants with red tubular flowers. Once hummingbirds discover your well-designed property, the same individuals are likely to return each year, as they are remarkable creatures of habit.

BIO: Horticulturalist Mark Fleming has had a long career as a senior level manager who oversees public garden operations. He has had total responsibility for the landscape of four major US Zoos. At the Phoenix Zoo he became a leader in their design process. He has a BS in horticulture from Oklahoma State University and a MLA degree from the University of Arizona. He is currently the Curator of Botany at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona.

Nature gives us Art:
The Zen of Photographing Hummingbirds

     Beth Kingsley Hawkins, M.A.

Beth Kingsley Hawkins, presenter at Sedona Hummingbird Festival

SYNOPSIS:  As an international 'nature as fine art' photographer, Beth will share her personal imagery path through story and image. She will address why she chooses to photograph hummingbirds in her life now, the approach she uses and why, and in what way her feminine energy manifests in her photographic journey. She will teach the concepts of the Zen of Photography and illustrate the elements of visual design as they apply to images of nature, highlighting hummingbirds, all with an eye towards inspiring new ways of seeing and creating meaningful metaphors.

BIO:  Beth Kingsley Hawkins brings to her love of photography a background as a music therapist, having taught at Immaculata University and worked in private practice and hospice. She has taught a Quaker course on Photography as a Doorway to Spirit. Her first published image in 1993, of the magically abstract slot canyons was entitled Inner Landscape, and to her delight was featured as a cover with the words:  "Enter the realm where Earth and Soul are One." She relishes photography as a spiritual exploration of nature and sees the hummingbirds as s direct expression of the Divine Imagination.

Beth owns the Sedona Hummingbird Gallery in the Village of Oak Creek [Sedona], which showcases her photography and her first book, Anna's in the Snow, now in its third printing.

Hummingbirds 101:
      The Basics of Attracting and Feeding Hummingbirds

       Dr. H. Ross Hawkins

Dr. H. Ross Hawkins, presenter at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival, and founder of the Hummingbird Society

SYNOPSIS:  In his 25+ years of attracting hummingbirds Hawkins has made many discoveries of the techniques that bring hummingbirds to your home, garden, apartment, even office. No single element is surprising, but combining all of them can virtually assure your success. Come share this colorful review of applied knowledge and see how it can help attract more hummingbirds on a daily basis!

BIO: In 1995 when Hawkins discovered that nearly 10% of the 342 species of hummingbirds were endangered, he was shocked that he could find no conservation efforts directed at their protection. He was also surprised to find that there was virtually no awareness that any hummingbirds were at risk of extinction. These facts moved him to create The Hummingbird Society the following year (It just celebrated its 20th birthday!), with dual missions of education and conservation. The Society, now headquartered in Sedona, has members in all 50 states and 20 countries; it has worked to protect an endangered hummingbird in Chile and has begun aiding two more species, one in Honduras and one in Colombia. 

 Hummingbirds on Top of the World

     Kate McLaughlin

SYNOPSIS: People are usually surprised to learn hummingbirds are found in Alaska. But the rufous does migrate up that far--at least to southcentral Alaska. Learn what other surprises Alaska offers hummingbird lovers.

BIO:  A resident of Prince William Sound, Alaska, since 1998, Kate McLaughlin works as an independent environmental consultant and is the President & Executive Director of Prince William Soundkeeper, a non-profit water quality citizen advocacy organization. From April – August, Kate runs the Alaska Hummingbird Banding Project, Inc., the only season-long hummingbird banding station in Alaska and the northernmost in the world.

Hummingbird Flowers of the Southwest

     Marcy Scott

SYNOPSIS:  See the mountains and deserts of the Southwest as a hummingbird does – an expanse punctuated by an array of nectar-bearing flowers that primarily depend on hummingbirds to pollinate them and in turn fuel their epic migrations. Learn about these extraordinary plants that hail from southern California to west Texas and northern Mexico: where and when they bloom, the delicate interplay between bird and flower, and the important nectar corridors that service throngs of migrating hummingbirds as they traverse the western United States. Marcy will also highlight which of these spectacular beauties are fairly easy to grow if given the right niche in the garden.

BIO: Marcy Scott is an avid birder, former wildlife rehabilitator, habitat garden consultant, and author of the recently published book, Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2015), the culmination of more than fifteen years of work. Along with her landscape-designer husband, Jimmy Zabriskie, she operates Robledo Vista Nursery near Las Cruces, New Mexico, specializing in southwestern natives, plants for wildlife habitat, and other resource-efficient landscape plants. Together they have gradually developed a mini-refuge at their home along the Rio Grande, where they now host thousands of migrating hummingbirds each summer.

Marcy will be available for book signing at lunchtime each of the 3 days. 

New Techniques and Technologies for Studying Hummingbird Function and Behavior

      Dr. Kenneth Welch

Dr. Kenneth Welch, presenter at the 2016 Sedona Hummingbird Festival

SYNOPSIS: In this presentation, Prof. Welch will introduce several exciting new research approaches developed in his lab and elsewhere that allow the study of hummingbird physiology and behavior in ways never before possible. Most exciting is the fact that these approaches are minimally invasive, meaning we can study hummingbirds under wild-like conditions, and even gain insights into freely behaving birds in fully wild populations. Using these approaches, we are learning just how flexible and powerful hummingbird metabolism is and how flexibility in behavior helps hummingbirds meet the strenuous demands of a long migratory journey in multiple ways.

BIO:  Dr. Kenneth Welch is an associate professor of Comparative Vertebrate Physiology at the University of Toronto Scarborough in Toronto, Canada. Ken received his PhD in Ecological Physiology from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007 and was originally trained as a hummingbird bander by Barbara Carlson as part of her 'roving ringers' team. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California Riverside, Ken took up his faculty position at the University of Toronto in 2009. Ken has worked with several hummingbird species for more than 15 years and has conducted lab and field-based research across the western United States, eastern Canada, and as far away as São Paolo, Brazil. Ken's particular research interests are in how hummingbirds regulate energy balance and blood sugar given their extreme diet, and how they achieve the phenomenal metabolic rates that make them the most elite of animal athletes.


Remarkable Discoveries from the Front Lines of Hummingbird Rescue--CANCELLED

Terry Masear

SYNOPSIS: Only a few people in California have rescued as many hummingbirds as Terry. In this session she combines her deep hummingbird rehab experience with excellent presentation skills. Like her book, her presentation will be riveting and memorable.

BIO: Terry Masear has been rescuing hummingbirds in Los Angeles since 2005. Each year Los Angeles Hummingbird Rescue receives over 2000 calls, rescues and rehabilitates 500 orphaned and injured hummingbirds..


Due to a serious family illness, Terry has had to cancel her participation in this year's Festival. We are hopeful she will be able to participate next year.

FP2 Marketing and Website Design

Top Cathedral Rock photo by: Andrew Holman Photography
(hummingbird) Randall Blackwood