Organizers of the annual Hummingbird Migration and Nature Celebration at Strawberry Plains Audubon Center in Holly Springs are busy planning this year’s festival. This year’s event, which will be held September 9, 10 and 11, is in its 17th year.
“The festival uses the magnetism of the hummingbirds to draw a diverse audience, a large part who might never visit Strawberry Plains for other programming,” said Kristin Lamberson, native plant specialist at the center.
Lamberson and other staff work hard to pack as many activities and speakers into the weekend. Their goal is to not only educate visitors but to inspire them to love nature and care for the world around them.
“The highlight of the weekend is the banding of over 600 hummingbirds on site,” said center director Mike Muraco. “Visitors will be able to see the hummingbirds up close and work with our banders.” A team from Southeastern Avian Research bands birds each year.
Visitors can also bet on the return of some of their favorite speakers and will see some new additions to the annual traditions.
Festival favorite Rob Mies, affectionately known as “Batman” will be back to present “Batman, Bananas and Bugs.” Mies serves as the Director of Organization for Bat Conservation and will present several times during the three-day event.
Other topics include Mississippi snakes and wildlife as well as the “Wonder of Hummingbirds” presented by environmental educator Heather Gallagher. Pollinators will be highlighted throughout the weekend and visitors can learn more about creating a pollinator-friendly garden habitat with author and landscape designer Heather Holm.
Children are not left out of the weekend of learning and fun. There will be a revamped Kids Nature Activities area, which will include representatives from the Mississippi Museum of Science and the Natural History Education Company of the Mid-South.
Wagon rides are an ever-popular festival activity, and Muraco and his staff are working to increase the number of rides available at this year’s event. Nature walks through the beautiful grounds will happen over the course of the weekend. Nature lovers can explore guided tours to learn more about area birds and animals. Food vendors and artisans will also be on-hand throughout the festival.
Volunteers are needed for the three-day event. Those wanting to volunteer may call Strawberry Plains at 662-252-1155 or email SPACvolunteers@audubon.org.
FOR DETAILS: www.strawberryplains.audubon.org or 662-252-1155