Dr. H. Ross Hawkins
©Hilary Joy Morejon - Hummingbirds of Joy
Female Anna's on a nest
We are motivated by compassion.
We are amazed by the creative, supportive ideas
of those who want us to succeed.
We are humbled by the generosity
of our members, donors, and sponsors.
We are deeply moved that our goals
find so much enthusiasm in a less than rosy world.
All of this encourage us
to envision even greater levels of success.
H. Ross Hawkins, Founder
1939 to 2020
A tribute to our founder, Dr. H. Ross Hawkins
We wish to pay tribute to Dr. H. Ross Hawkins, who founded the Society in 1996 and was at its helm for the last 24 years as executive director. His unexpected death at 81 was a profound loss. As one member put it so beautifully: “He was the king of hummingbirds! I know his work will live on in every little wing flutter!”
Ross’s love of hummingbirds began when he enticed the Ruby-throats in North East, Maryland to come to the bedroom window to dine. This evolved into creating a garden with special flowers to attract them and resulted in the purchase of a new camera. This was followed by both Beth and Ross having fun taking turns holding a flowering red bee balm while the other photographed the curious hummer coming to it.
When Ross learned there were hummingbirds that were endangered, he felt a calling to protect them. To augment his vision, he drew a diagram of a wheel with ‘Hummingbird Society’ in the center, and spokes representing all the aspects he would have to learn to form a non-profit, and the Society was born. This was an opportunity to bring his multi-faceted talents together—computer expertise and a love of research (a Ph.D in chemistry), fund-raising and interpersonal skills (22 years as a stockbroker), love of nature and photography, professional speaking skills, plus he had the heart of a true educator. In Ross’s own words: “Hummingbirds are endearing and charismatic and they also have the potential to give us joys and insights.”
Hummers motivated both Ross and Beth to travel to learn more about them, with trips to Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. Ross himself made two trips to Robinson Crusoe Island off the coast of Chile to study the endangered Juan Fernandez Firecrown, and a trip to confirm the range of the Honduran Emerald. A permanent move from the East to Sedona, Arizona added the plus of many more species, providing a year-round resident, the Anna’s hummingbird, who delighted with its song. This resulted in Sedona becoming the permanent home of the Society.
Due to Covid-19, a small, masked, socially-distanced gathering was held for Ross outside the Society in the courtyard. Beth sang ‘The Rose’ for him… ‘love, it is a flower, and you, you plant the seed.’ As she was singing, a male Anna’s hummingbird perched on a branch above her head and sat there awhile as if to listen before he took flight. We knew it was Ross’s spirit right there.
A neighbor gave him a final tribute, “Your dreams have given others life. You have created for many a way to express their love.”
Ross, we salute you with the rainbow wing of a hummingbird. Through your knowledge and vision and compassion, you have made a powerful impact on this world.
Dr. H. Ross Hawkins
1939 to 2020
B.S. - Chemistry, University of Tulsa (OK)
Ph.D. - Chemistry, University of California (Berkeley)
Research Scientist, E.I. du Pont de Nemours (9 yrs)
Investment Advisor, Delta Financial Advisory Services (2 yrs)
Account Executive, Lehman Brothers (2 yrs)
VP, Investments, Morgan Stanley (22 yrs, retired)
Charter Member, North American Nature Photography Association
Member, Northern Arizona Audubon Society
Founder and Executive Director of the Hummingbird Society
Editor, The Hummingbird Connection
Professional Speaker since 2010
Former - Founder and Executive Director