Sedona Hummingbird Festival 2013

In order of appearance

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The information below applies to the past Festival (2019).

A complete Timetable and Schedule of Presentations and other Events can be found under the tab Schedule 2019.

2019 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 August 2, 3, and 4. No other hummingbird festival offers this dedication to hummingbird education!

A special lecture on Sunday 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.

(In order of appearance)

FRIDAY, with opening remarks at 9:30 a.m.

9:45 Friday
Dr. H. Ross Hawkins
"Hummingbirds 101:

The Basics of Attracting and Feeding Hummingbirds"

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 you attract more hummingbirds on a daily basis!

Bio:  Hawkins founded the Hummingbird Society in 1996 when he could find no organized efforts to protect the species listed as endangered. He quickly learned that hummingbird lovers are to be found around the world, and that many individuals want to understand them more and to attract them to their property. That led to the creation of the Society and a lifetime dedicated to these tiny flying jewels.

11:00 Friday
Noelle Johnson
"Create a Hummingbird Garden in a Small Space"

Synopsis:  A hummingbird garden not only adds beauty to your outdoor space but also allows you the opportunity to view the antics of these 'flying jewels' up close. Creating a garden that attracts hummingbirds doesn't take much room. In fact, hummingbird gardens are easily created in small spaces such as a courtyard, raised bed, or even in a container. Horticulturist Noelle Johnson, a.k.a. the 'AZ Plant Lady,' shares how to create a hummingbird paradise in a small area.

Bio:   Noelle Johnson is a horticulturist and landscape consultant who has provided expert garden advice for desert dwellers for over 20 years. She is an instructor at the Desert Botanical Garden, and teaches popular online courses on desert gardening. She received her B.S. in plant biology with a concentration in urban horticulture from ASU. She is also the author of the popular gardening blog,

1:30 Friday
(1) "Hummingbirds:  Divine Messengers"

Synopsis:  Divine messengers have legends explaining their bravery, their wisdom, and the duality of their powers . Other legends explain their particularities: why they feed on flowers with a long tongue, why they do not sing like other birds, why they are like rainbows, why they are doctor birds, and why they are the souls of ancestors. In this part is included how they conquered the Americas after leaving their original habitat in Eurasia.

(2) "My Hummingbird Aviary"

Synopsis:  This is a review of his breeder experience, with short videos of his aviary and his Caribbean species, reproduction, breeding of orphans, and his relationship with other breeders in Europe.  (Note: his is the only licensed hummingbird aviary in France.)

Bio:  Dr. Ducros is a physician—a nephrologist with many publications to his name. He spent his medical career at university and military hospitals in Marseille and Guadeloupe. He is also a specialist in cardiology, immunology, and aeronautical medicine [He holds a private pilot's license] and retired in 2017. He is proud to have been the first international member of the Hummingbird Society (1996). He has authored numerous books on hummingbirds [in English] which will be on sale at the Festival.

2:45 Friday
"Tales of a beginning birder"

Synopsis:  As one of our area's best birders, Rich shares his history of humorous events along the path of getting there:  learning one has to identify sounds, flying birds, not knowng types, comparing to experts--and learning from misidentifying birds.

Bio:  Rich Armstrong received his 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 as 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 32 years, and they have birded together in Texas, Oregon, most of North America, and now Arizona for 8 years. He is the NAAS [Northern Arizona Audubon Society] steward of the Sedona Wetlands, and has led many field trips for NAAS.

4:00 Friday
"Connecting the Dots:  Watching Feeders and Banding Birds—What Long-term Banding Projects Teach Us"

Synopsis:  Kate McLaughlin of the Alaska Hummingbird Project will discuss two species of hummingbirds that illustrate how citizen science, paired with long-term capture and release projects like bird banding, help us understand hummingbird life history and population dynamics.

Bio:  Kate is a native Floridian who transplanted north ('way north). She earned a B.S. in zoology, and after working with western bluebirds in Flagstaff, AZ, she headed to Prince William Sound in south-central Alaska in 1998.  She began studying hummingbirds in 2007 in the remote village of Chenega Bay, and in 2015 launched The Alaska Hummingbird Project, Inc., a 501(c)(3) scientific and educational non-profit.

When not chasing hummingbirds, Kate earns a living as a customer service representative for the Chugach National Forest in Cordova.


SATURDAY, with opening remarks at 9:30 a.m.

9:45 Saturday
"How I Paint Hummingbirds"

Synopsis:  Renowned wildlife artist Gamini Ratnavira will be presenting a visual representation of how he paints birds in the wild, with  an emphasis of hummingbirds. This will enhance art students and photographers and graphic artists' visual and art skills, as well as information for art collectors and what draws their eyes to certain paintings.

Bio:  Gamini Ratnavira was born and raised in tropical Sri Lanka. As a self-taught artist he uses his photographic memory and life experiences to produce vibrant, colorful images of the rain forest flora and fauna, which are complimented with intriguing stories and research information about each painting. His paintings reveal his love for art coupled with an unrestrained, lifelong reverence for nature and animals. He has been a participant in our hummingbird festivals since 2003 and has amassed a world-wide following.

11:00 Saturday
"Art Inspired by Hummingbirds!"

Synopsis:  Beth will share her passion for hummingbirds in word and image, exploring the way in which these 'humming winglets' have been a source of inspiration for the world of art: painting, photography, pottery, sculpture, fashion, story-telling and writing. She will tell the story of her new book 'Hummy the Magnificent,' a fantasy based on a real hummingbird species who in solving his allergy to flowers, spreads joy by learning to read.

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 relishes photography as a spiritual exploration of nature, and she sees the hummingbirds as a direct expression of the Divine Imagination. The hummingbirds she saw on her first trip to Trinidad and Tobago inspired her to spend many years perfecting her techniques.

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 fourth printing.

1:30 Saturday
"Hummingbirds of Colombia"

SynopsisDr. Bahamón will take us on a virtual journey to his native Colombia to find 68 different hummingbirds. He will take us to the rugged Andes, to the verdant valleys, to misty cloud forests, to the suffocating Amazon region and even to city gardens. Colombia has documented more species of hummingbirds than any other country: 163 out of the 365 total.

He will introduce the different species of hummingbirds with breathtaking photographs, giving the story behind them. He will entertain you with amusing anecdotes and curious facts about the birds, the people, and the environment where they live.

Bio:  Dr. Juan Bahamón is a practicing neurologist, but his real passion is taking artistic photos of hummingbirds. He goes wherever he needs to find the birds, including his home country of Colombia. As a neurologist his work confronts him continuously with pain and suffering; he says he needs bird photography to recharge his emotional batteries.

His hard work in photography has paid off:  his work has been exhibited in medical buildings, art galleries, medical magazines, calendars, and greeting cards. He is a certified visual storyteller on Facebook.

He has also been a strong supporter of the Hummingbird Society's mission to protect endangered hummingbirds, in particular being a part of our expedition to document the Juan Fernández Firecrown in Chile, putting his photographic skills to use.

2:45 Saturday
"Hummingbird Rehab"


Bio:  Vanessa Jones is a licensed hummingbird rehabilitator in the State of California who has volunteered with Project Wildlife in San Diego County since 2000 and has been rehabbing hummingbirds exclusively since 2003. Project Wildlife receives about 1,000 injured or orphaned hummingbirds each year, and Vanessa is part of a team of six to eight rehabbers. Her specialty is neonates and nestlings, and she handles between 200 and 300 a year. Because of her love of hummingbirds and nature, Vanessa has taken an interest in amateur photography and painting. After attending a lecture by Beth Hawkins at one of the festivals, she was inspired to go to Costa Rica to see some of their wonderful species. This will be her fourth time attending the Sedona Hummingbird Festival but the first as a speaker.

4:00 Saturday

"Hummingbird Photography

Synopsis:  Bud will share examples of his photography and provide some tips on how you can capture memorable images of hummingbirds feeding on blooms in your own back yard.

Bio:  Bud Hensley is a life-long nature enthusiast and amateur photographer in southwest Ohio. In 2006, he became fascinated with hummingbirds, then obsessed with nectar
plants, and has been on a quest to capture images of hummingbirds visiting blooms in their environment...and in his yard...ever since. He has contributed images to The
Hummingbird Society publications, various nature magazines, and has had a photo
article about hummingbird photography published in Birds and Blooms magazine.


SUNDAY, with opening remarks at 9:30 a.m.

9:45 Sunday

"Dealing with heat:  the impact of warming temperatures on the daily life of hummingbirds"

Synopsis:  For the past several years Dr. Powers' lab has conducted research on how hummingbirds will respond to increasing environmental temperatures resulting from climate change. Understanding how climate change will impact hummingbirds is important because they are critical vertebrate pollinators, and changes in their distribution and survivorship could have far reaching impact on foundational plant structure of some ecosystems. In this presentation he will share some of what we have learned about how high environmental temperature might impact two key hummingbird adaptations: nocturnal torpor and hovering flight.
     He first became interested in studies of torpor because a key component of climate change is that nighttime temperatures in many places will warm faster, and to a greater extent, than daytime temperatures. This can impact hummingbird torpor because warm nighttime temperature limits how much hummingbirds can lower their body temperature, and thus their metabolic rate (i.e. the amount of energy they can save).
     His data revealed incredible complexity in how hummingbirds manage torpor at night. While this might not directly relate to climate change it could answer some important questions about a hummingbird's nighttime physiology.
     His work on hummingbird hovering flight began with laboratory studies in a wind tunnel. He found that extra heat generated during hovering was not being dissipated across the general plumage. Hummingbirds generate a large amount of extra heat while hovering, because their flight muscles are inefficient, and much of the energy used to power flight simply gets converted to heat. This is a problem when environmental temperatures get warm hummingbirds appear unable to dissipate this extra heat while they are hovering putting them at risk of overheating. Most animals would solve this problem by evaporating the extra heat, it appears plumage is a barrier to evaporation as well. Thus, in warm temperatures hummingbirds can only hover for short periods before they have to perch and cool, limiting their ability to feed and pollinate. As temperatures continue to warm due to climate change, limitations on the amount of time a hummingbird can hover will likely increase and possibly result in shifts in hummingbird distribution or even impact hummingbird survivorship.

Bio:  Don Powers is a Professor of Biology at George Fox University and has studied various aspects of hummingbird physiology for 40 years. His work on the energetics and biomechanics of hummingbird hovering (Nature, 2005) revealed important insights into the mechanics and evolution of this key hummingbird adaptation. He has published numerous works on hummingbird energy management, flight metabolism, water regulation and evaporative water loss, and the role of nocturnal torpor. Currently his lab focuses on the potential physiological impact of climate change on hummingbird populations is both Arizona and Ecuador, with specific focus on body-temperature regulation both at night and during flight. Much of his recent work has been funded by NASA who is interested in how climate change might impact hummingbird pollination services.  Dr. Powers has a B.S. degree in biology from Biola University, an M.S. in ecology from San Diego State University, and a Ph.D. in physiological ecology from the University of California, Davis.

11:00 Sunday

"Protecting Endangered Hummingbirds"

Synopsis:  It is actually scary to learn that of the 365 known species of hummingbirds, over 10% (40) are endangered, and of these, 10 are 'Critically Endangered'--a rank that suggests a 50-50 chance of extinction in just 10(!) years. Ross will look in particular at two species in this group, the Juan Fernández Firecrown and the Chilean Woodstar, the risks they are facing, and what can be done to save them from extinction.

Bio: Hawkins founded the Hummingbird Society in 1996 when he could find no organized efforts to protect the  species listed as endangered. He quickly learned that hummingbird lovers are to be found around the world, and that many individuals want to understand them more and to attract them to their property. That led to the creation of the Society and a lifetime dedicated to these tiny flying jewels. With their memberships and donations, the Society's supporters are helping its conservation efforts. Partnerships with the American Bird Conservancy and Oikonos Foundation magnify their efforts.

1:30 Sunday
"Hummingbird Courtship:  Flash! Zoom! Bang! Done!"

Synopsis:  Courtship rituals among the worldwide families of birds can range from none or simple to spectacular and bizarre. In most families the males are the performers as they participate in numerous methods to win the 'heart" of the female, including plumage displays, acrobatic aerial maneuvers, dances, food offerings, songs and site decorations. As a family, male hummingbirds principally use their gorget and aerial displays to earn the right to mate with the female. Because of their tiny size and high speed flying capability, birders rarely get to witness the courtship show of hummingbirds. Their brief razzle and dazzle show can be an unforgettable moment for birders.

Bio:   A native Texan from Gonzales County, Lindemann earned BS and MA degrees from the University of Texas in Austin. As an exploration geologist, he worked for Exxon around the world searching for oil and gas, uranium, synthetic fuels and other minerals for 32 years. Retiring to Fredericksburg in 1994, Lindemann became a self-trained naturalist to fully appreciate the wonderful natural heritage found in the Hill Country. He wrote a weekly newspaper column on birding for 19 years, twice served as president of the Native Plant Society of Texas, founded the Fredericksburg Nature Center, and was a member of the Hill Country Land Trust for 15 years serving as its president for four years. He has been an avid birder for more than 50 years and continues to expand his knowledge of plants, butterflies and odonates (dragonflies). He is a wildlife photographer and frequent speaker on nature subjects around the state.

2:45 Sunday
"Anatomy of a Hummingbird Flower"

Synopsis:  Enjoy a hummingbird's-eye-view of what makes the perfect hummingbird flower—a combination of shape, structure, color, nectar content, bloom time, and location. Learn about a number of the most important hummingbird-pollinated flowers north of the Mexico border, many of which are still in the process of evolving to cater to hummingbirds, and how hummingbird movements have driven this flower evolution so that both now substantially depend upon each other for their survival. Learn why hummingbirds make such terrific pollinators and be dazzled by some of the key hummingbird-pollinated flowers of each region.

Bio:  Marcy Scott is an avid birder, former wildlife rehabilitator, habitat garden consultant, and author of Hummingbird Plants of the Southwest (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2015). 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.



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