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Anna’s Hummingbird photo by Lisa Meyers Swanson

Cathedral Rock photo by Beth Kingsley Hawkins 

Festival Presenters and Presentations

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Daniel Lebbin

American Bird Conservancy

Vice President of Threatened Species

Hummingbird Conservation in the Americas

Presentation: 

Friday, July 29, 2022 (11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.)

American Bird Conservancy conserves wild birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. ABC focuses on halting the extinction of the most threatened species, managing habitat to conserve more widespread but declining species, and reducing mortality sources. ABC has had much success in these goals by creating a network of protected areas conserving more than one million acres for many of the rarest species, affecting the management of more than six million acres in the United States to conserve habitat for declining species, and reducing mortality from various threats. Hummingbirds are a diverse family of 371 species bird species restricted to the Americas. Fortunately, the conservation status of most species is fairly secure, with only 11% ranked by the IUCN Red List as Extinct (2 species), Data Deficient (1 species), or Globally Threatened (39 species [9 Critically Endangered species, including 3 lost species that have not been observed for at least ten years, 17 Endangered Species, and 13 Vulnerable species]). Habitat loss is the primary threat for the vast majority of threatened species. American Bird Conservancy works with local conservation organizations throughout the Americas to protect, manage, and restore habitat for many of the most threatened species to safeguard them against extinction. ABC has worked with more than 50 partners in 15 countries to conserve more than 1.1 million acres at more than 100 sites. At least 241 (65%) hummingbird species have been recorded at these sites, including 19 (48%) of the 39 Globally Threatened hummingbird species. I’ll highlight conservation efforts for Royal Sunangel, Marvelous Spatuletail, Blue-throated Hillstar, Black-breasted Puffleg, Glittering Starfrontlet, Honduran Emerald, Purple-backed Sunbeam, Gray-bellied Comet and additional species in this presentation.

Biography:

Daniel received a BA in Biology and Environmental Science and Policy from Duke University and a PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, where he studied habitat specialization of Amazonian birds. At American Bird Conservancy, Daniel serves a Vice President of Threatened Species and leads ABC’s programmatic work globally threatened species in Latin America and the Caribbean, including establishing nature reserves for globally threatened species of hummingbirds. A lifelong birder, Daniel enjoys bird illustration and photography. He co-authored The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation and numerous other articles and references about birds, including the first nest description of the Purple-backed Sunbeam, a hummingbird endemic to Peru. He loves hummingbirds and considers them among his favorite group of birds!

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Jennie MacFarland

Tucson Audubon Society

Bird Conservation Biologist

Gems in Your Garden - How to Attract and Support Hummingbirds in Your Yard

Presentation: 

Friday, July 29, 2022 (1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.)

Gems in Your Garden - How to attract and support hummingbirds in your yard

Arizona has more species of hummingbirds than any other state in the US. We are also quite lucky to have hummingbirds present year round to be enjoyed in the wilderness as well as in our gardens.

There are many features you can add to your property to entice hummingbirds to visit you when they are on migration, for nesting or just setting up territories.

We will talk about native plants, efficient water use to support your gardens and best practices for hummingbird feeders.

We will also cover the less obvious needs of hummingbirds as well such as water and tiny insects as well as how to reduce threats any make your yard safer for hummingbirds and other birds.

Biography:

Bird Conservation Biologist for the Tucson Audubon Society
Jennie is a nearly life-long Arizonan that loves exploring different habitats in Southeast Arizona.

Birding is an integral part of her social life and work life and much of her free time is spent in the field birding or learning more about birds and their ecosystems.

As Bird Conservation Biologist for Tucson Audubon, Jennie coordinates the Arizona Important Bird Areas Program and other bird survey conservation projects.

She is also the coordinator for the Tucson Bird Count and organizes several large scale community science efforts in Southeast Arizona each year including Elegant Trogon surveys of five Sky Island mountain ranges,

Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo surveys and the Desert Purple Martin Project. Jennie is also a part of the Habitat at Home program that shares information and inspiration

on how to make one's yard abundant and safe for birds and pollinators.

Jennie also enjoys sharing the amazing bird life of Southeast Arizona and amazing work of Tucson Audubon Society and frequently gives presentations and online talks on various subjects.

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Charles W. Melton

Nature Photographer and Videographer

Amazing Arizona Hummingbirds

Presentation:

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

Arizona has a dazzling array of hummingbirds and this program will reveal just how beautiful and fascinating they are. For each species of hummingbird that occurs in Arizona we will discuss identification tips, when and where they occur, and some of their amazing behaviors such as nesting, feeding, bathing, and courtship. Some tips on how to photograph hummingbirds will also be discussed.

Biography:

Charles is a Nature photographer and videographer of note and has lived in southeastern Arizona since 2003. Hummingbirds are one of his favorite subjects. To date he has photographed 17 species of hummingbirds in the U.S. and has produced four nature DVDs, three of which are about hummingbirds. He also conducts fantastic hummingbird photography workshops.

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Johnny Bliznak, M.D. 

Photographer and Nature Lover

The Art and Science of Hummingbirds

Presentation: 

Friday, July 29, 2022 (9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

Johnny will speak about ten hummingbird species, their possible ancestry, anatomy, physiology, and some hummingbird basics such as their nutrition, flight, torpor, iridescent feather color, and bill-flower relationship.

Biography:

Dr. Bliznak graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. degree in zoology and graduated with an M.D. degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.  He practiced general and musculoskeletal radiology for 43 years until his recent retirement. 

 

He lives in Abilene, Texas, and does hummingbird photography whenever he can.  He has been interested in photography from the time he was 10 years old and has been photographing hummingbirds for 15 years.  He has travelled to photograph them in both North and Central America.

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Beth Kingsley Hawkins, M. A.

Nature Photographer and Author

Hummingbird Messengers: A Dance with Spirit

Presentation:

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (11:00 a.m. - 11:45 p.m.)

Beth will share the spiritual and symbolic dimension of hummingbirds.  She will address the question: “Can a hummingbird bring messages from a loved one in Spirit?” and will share stories of hope and healing – all through a hummingbird. She gives us her definition of a hummingbird:

Hum·ming·bird / hŭm´ ĭng bŭrd  (family Trochilidae)

n.  an unusually small bird with wings that sing;

a winged messenger; a flutter of hope,

a flurry of joy; a glimmer of grace,

a whisper of love, a delightful surprise;

a tiny miracle; a spark of the Divine

Biography:

Beth is currently Executive Director of the Hummingbird Society. Her husband, Ross, its late founder, lovingly dubbed her the Minister of Enchantment for the Society.  Together they travelled to Costa Rica to see the Snow Cap and to Trinidad and Tobago eight times to experience and photograph the hummingbirds in their natural habitat. 

 

Beth has a master’s in music and music therapy for studies at the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.  She is a Reiki master and worked as a music therapist in hospice. She was a music therapy professor at Immaculata College in PA and worked as a music therapist in Geriatrics, with skilled care and Alzheimer’s patients.

She is now sole-proprietor of the Sedona Hummingbird Gallery from 2006 to the present, featuring her photography and everything hummingbird. She is the author of two books, Anna’s in the Snow and Hummy, the Magnificent, how  a hummingbird learned to read and is completing her third book, Hummingbird Messengers, designed around her definition of a hummingbird.

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Gamini Ratnavira

Wildlife Artist Supreme

Hummingbirds As Art

Presentation:

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (9:30 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

Gamini has just completed a life-long dream of his to paint all the hummingbirds of the world.  He will be discussing the process of creating all 350 hummingbird species and the artistic techniques involved, as well as his travels to see over 200 species in the wild for his research. 

In addition he will have a slide show presenting many of the illustrations. This will be the first time it has been exhibited and it is the culmination of his 50 year career as an artist. 

www.gaminiratnavira.com

Instagram @gaminiratnavira  Facebook@HiddenForestArtGallery Fallbrook, California

Biography:

Gamini is a Sri Lankan American wildlife artist of renown.  As a child, he had to sleep on a slanted bed when his pet baby elephant, Maya, sat on it. At the age of 19, he became a self-taught wildlife artist in his native country of Sri Lanka.

 

He was inspired by the beautiful rainforest country he grew up in and wanted to share the beauty and wonder of nature with those around him  He says: “As a Buddhist,  respect for all life and nature is ingrained in my life philosophy and is a part of my canvas.  I have been fortunate to visit over 55 countries keeping detailed sketchbooks, taking photos, and creating paintings from these travels.” At one of his first art shows in 1979, president JR Jayewardene blessed the ceremony, and over 150 paintings were sold in that exhibit.

 

The Ratnavira name means “Hero of Gems” and their caste is jewelers. After his father saw his success as an artist, he gave his blessing on his wildlife art career, versus following the family business of gem and jewelry design.  The president of Sri Lanka collected his work and named him the Chief Advisor to him on Wildlife and Conservation for the Department of Wildlife.

 

After touring with Prince Philip through the Country, they worked together on “Let them Live”, an elephant conservation program with the World Wildlife Fund and he designed elephant stamps in addition to 34 other postage stamps for his country. 

 

Gamini was also commissioned by the President to paint a 9 foot mural of Ringneck Parakeets, for the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka, receiving over $237,000 US Dollars.

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Karen Krebbs

Naturalist and Author

The Exciting Night Life of Bats!

Presentation:

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.)

Karen has studied bats for more than 35 years. Learn about this exciting and unique
nocturnal mammal and how it is so successful as a predator and pollinator. There are more than 1,100 species of bats that occur worldwide. Bats are an important part of our ecosystems and deserve our respect and admiration.

 

Echolocation allows a bat to fly in total darkness to locate, chase, and capture flying insects. Bridges and other human structures are important roost habitat for many species of bats. Nectar bats visit and pollinate columnar cactus and succulents in our area. Learn about the 28 species of bats that live right here in Arizona.

Biography:

Karen Krebbs worked at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for more than 26 years,
and now works on her own as an independent contractor for the National Park Service. She has extensive knowledge of birds, mammals, deserts, and animal adaptations and behavior.

Karen has carried out research for bats in the United States and Mexico for more than 35 years. She trains biologists on the proper protocol for handling and studying bats. Karen regularly carries out workshops and presentations on bats and birds to groups, schools, festivals, and organizations in the southwest and Mexico.

 

Her long-term inventory and monitoring program for bats in the Chiricahua Mountains continues in its 22 nd year of study. She has written articles, books, and manuals for bats and birds. She has collaborated with other researchers on many bat research projects with local government agencies, universities, Mexico partners, and non-
profit organizations.

 

Karen has participated in natural history learning trips in Arizona, Texas, New Mexico, Mexico, Baja, Costa Rica, Africa, Galapagos, and Ecuador. Karen’s passion for bats is contagious! Her animal lectures and presentations are exciting and fun! Karen has a B. Sc. Degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from the University of Arizona.

 

Karen’s latest books include Desert Life: A Guide to the Southwest’s Iconic Animals and Plants & How They Survive; Desert Life of the Southwest Activity Book; Explore Tucson Outdoors, and Bat Basics: An Introduction to the Life of Bats in the

United States & Canada & Their Many Benefits.

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Carole A. Turek, M.D

Hummingbird Spot

Founder

Magnificent Obsession: The Quest to Photograph Every Hummingbird Species

Presentation:

Saturday, July 30, 2022 (1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.)

Carole attended our hummingbird festival in 2016 and was motivated by hearing Juan Bahamon’s presentation on the hummingbirds of Ecuador. From that inspiration and a first-hand knowledge of feeding hummingbirds grew an obsession to find and photograph every species.

She has been traveling to many remote places on a quest to do so, starting with the most endangered hummingbird species first.

She will share her adventurous experiences in many remote places of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil with her fabulous images and stories. The hummingbirds truly hold a special “spot” in her heart.


You can follow her on her YouTube Channel “Hummingbird Spot” and on her website www.hummingbirdspot.com.

Biography:

Carole has a BS from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA (Biology and Chemistry), an MD degree from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, PA and has been a practicing anesthesiologist from 1985 to the present.

 

 

She is the founder of the Hummingbird Spot and is a hummingbird photographer committed to photographing every species of hummingbird in existence. She is beginning with the most endangered and hard-to-find species first and has visited some very remote paces in her dedicated search.

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Rich Armstrong

Master Birder

Birds of the Verde Valley

Presentation:

Friday, July 29, 2022 (2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

Sit back and enjoy a fast paced tour of a full year of birding the Verde Valley where about 300 bird species have been seen. Imagine many great locations, see many great photos, enjoy a few humorous stories, and find out what birds you could see!

Biography:

Rich Armstrong got 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 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 35 years and they have birded together in Texas, Oregon, most of North America, and now Arizona for 10 years. He is the NAAS steward of the Sedona Wetlands, and has led many field trips for NAAS.

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Lucia Paulina Gonzalez-Gomez

U of Ca David Professor

Hummingbirds in a Changing World: the Endangered Chilean Woodstar

Presentation:

Sunday, July 31, 2022 (9:45 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.)

Hummingbirds possess remarkable physiological and behavioral characteristics. In
relation to their body size, they present the highest metabolic rate among vertebrates, and their flight style (hovering) is extremely expensive. To pay this cost, they eat large amounts of nectar, fiercely defend flowers, and remember where flowers are and will provide the next nectar batch.


Hummingbirds can also save energy entering in hibernation-like state at night. Despite these characteristics help them to cope with environmental variability, many hummingbird species are highly sensitive to perturbations such as climate change and human disturbance.

 

For example, the Chilean Woodstar hummingbird (Eulidia yarrellii) inhabiting the oases in the Atacama Desert, has declined to extremely low numbers (~300 individuals total). In this talk we will discuss the possible causes for this population decline, and the difficulties around conservation efforts.

Biography:

Paulina L. Gonzalez-Gomez has work with hummingbirds for over 20 years. She did her Master and PhD in Chile, where she began working in hummingbird behavior and physiology. Specifically, she worked with free-living hummingbirds studying hummingbird memory and energy use.

She complemented this research with studies in pollination, nectar robbing and plant
morphology. Dr. Gonzalez-Gomez arrived at the University of California Davis working in environmental endocrinology.

 

In particular, she is interested in stress response and life cycles in the context of climate change. She has been working with free-living hummingbirds in Costa Rica, the Atacama Desert and Mediterranean environments such as central California and central Chile.

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Sheri L. Williamson

Master Bander and Author

Hummingbirds: Their Past, Their Present, Our Future

Presentation:

Sunday, July 31, 2022 (1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.)

Hummingbirds have endured in recognizable form for over 30 million years, escaping a mysterious extinction in their original home, claiming the entire Western Hemisphere as their new empire, and diversifying into over 350 known species.

 

Yet for all their luck, pluck, and perseverance over the eons, these tiny warriors are facing new challenges that are devastating many once-common species and threatening the very existence of the rarest. What are the threats facing hummingbirds today, and what can hummingbird lovers do to help ensure their survival through the 21st century and beyond?

Biography:

Sheri L. Williamson is an ornithologist, conservationist, and lifelong naturalist known internationally for her research on hummingbirds. She is the author of the Peterson Field Guide to Hummingbirds of North America (2002) and recently completed a new field guide to hummingbirds to be published by Princeton University Press. Sheri is co-founder and Director/Naturalist of the Southeastern Arizona Bird Observatory and lives near the Mexican border in Bisbee, Arizona.

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Gail Morris

Monarch Butterfly Researcher

Four-winged Wonders Loved by All

Presentation:

Sunday, July 31, 2022 (11:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.)

Brilliant orange monarch butterflies share the sky with hummingbirds on their migration each fall visiting flowers to refuel along the way. These fragile winged wonders are facing challenges and you can help.

 

Join us to learn about the flight of the monarch in the Western United States:
Where they breed, where they migrate, and how you can help them on their way in your own back yard.

Biography:

Gail Morris is the Coordinator of the Southwest Monarch Study, in Chandler, Arizona, a Citizen Science research project based in Arizona researching monarch butterflies and creating pollinator habitats across the state.

 

She is also a Monarch Watch Conservation Specialist, Vice President of the Monarch Butterfly Fund, Central Arizona Butterfly Association and Western Monarch Advocates.

 

Gail has authored several monarch research publications and dedicates her time training Citizen Scientists to participate in monarch research, education and conservation in the southwestern United States.  info@SWMonarchs.org

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Dr. Jacques Ducros

Hummingbird Breeder

Hummingbirds: New Insights into their Food and Metabolism

Presentation:

Friday, July 29, 2022 (4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.)

Living in the south of France, on the Mediterranean Sea, Jacques has been breeding hummingbirds since 1984 in a large climate-controlled aviary

(Deleted ‘the title of the conference’)A large part of his presentation reports his breeding experience.

 

He will address his research on the amounts of nectar, sugars, proteins, calories consumed by my hummingbirds, in particular’ during reproduction when a mother is setting and when she feeds her chicks. Nectars, sugars, proteins, lipids are analyzed in the food in the wild and in captivity.

New insights into their metabolism complete these analyses.The results show that lighter hummingbirds have a higher metabolism than heavier species.

The consumption of food is greater than in the wild, probably because they do not have to move around to find nectar and they have unlimited food.

Biography:

Doctor Jacques Emile Ducros. Born in 1946. French nephrologist and also specialist in cardiology, Immunology, and Aeronautical Medecine. Medical career in Marseilles and at the University of Pointe à Pitre in Guadeloupe. Retired since 2017. Bird lover. Colonel in the French Army Reserve. Authorized by the French government to keep and breed certain wild birds in captivity.

Living in the south of France on the Mediterranean Sea. Breeding hummingbirds since 1984 in a large climate-controlled aviary. The title of the conference “Hummingbirds: New insights into their food and metabolism.”

Nectars, sugars, proteins, lipids are analyzed in the food in the wild and in captivity. New insights into their metabolism complete these analyses.

Finally, a large part of the presentation reports my breeding experience. In particular the amounts of nectar, sugars, proteins, calories consumed by my hummingbirds in particular during reproduction when a mother is setting and when she feeds her chicks.

The results show that lighter hummingbirds have a higher metabolism than heavier species. The consumption of food is greater than in the wild, probably because they do not have to move around to find nectar and they have unlimited food.

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Scott Rashid

Ornithologist

Small Mountain Owls

Presentation:

Sunday, July 31, 2022 (2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.)

Scott will be discussing the natural history of the Northern Pygmy-Owl, Northern Saw-whet Owl Flammulated Owl and the Boreal Owl. He will cover their habitat preferences, courtship, nesting habits, egg laying, food preferences, a description of the young, and the fledgling and post fledging activities of each species.

 

He has been studying owls for years, and has written the only book ever published that covers these four species; entitled  Small Mountain Owls.

Biography:

Scott Rashid is an artist, researcher, bird rehabilitator, bird bander, author
and the director of a nonprofit, the Colorado Avian Research and rehabilitation
Institute or CARRI for short. 


In 1992 he received his state and federal banding permits and two years
later was asked to create a bird banding program near Estes Park, Colorado. In
2014, Scott and his volunteers banded their 10,000 th bird there.


In 1994, he became a licensed bird rehabilitator, and began taking care of
injured birds. Through his rehabilitation efforts, he has taken care of eagles,
falcons, owls, and hawks as well as songbirds, hummingbirds and covids of all
kinds, returning hundreds of injured and orphaned birds back to the wild. 
He has an extensive knowledge of and love of owls.  

 

Beginning with  an owl
nesting research project in hopes of increasing the number of Barn Owls to
studying the Great Horned owl, to researching the Northern Goshawk , to
studying Long-eared owls, Northern Pygmy Owls, American kestrels, and  the
Northern Saw-Whet Owl.


The first book he published was called “Small Mountain Owls:; a natural
history study about the Northern Pygmy Owl,  the Northern Saw-Whet, the
Flammulated and Boreal Owls.

This was followed by “the Great Horned Owl:  anin-depth study;” “the Northern Goshawk: the Gray Ghost;” “Exploring the World of the Barn Owl: an intimate look into their secretive lives;” “American Kestrel: the Diminutive Raptor,” and  “The Northern Saw-whet Owl: the deep woods Gnome”, all including many of his superb illustrations and photographs.