Imagine getting to hold a hummingbird in your hand and letting it fly away. Some people—and it is usually the youngest one standing near the banding table—actually got to do that here at the nature center.
The Ijams Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival was held last week. The perfect weather conditions helped the attendance but the draw is always the chance to see ruby-throated hummingbirds banded and released.
Mark Armstrong is a Master Bird Bander and licensed to catch and attach the tiny numbered leg bands to the hummers. They are then promptly released to continue their migration to Central America.
This is the 7th year of the festival originally created by Billie Cantwell. At the time she was the President of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithology Society (KTOS). The local chapter was formed by H.P. Ijams in January 1924 and he served as its first president. For years the club met here at the Ijams family home.
Additionally, the festival features speakers on a range of nature topics, kids activities and venders selling plants, crafts and food.
Ijams: Connecting people to nature since 1923.
- Photos by Ijams volunteer Kristy Keel-Blackmon
Mark Armstrong and his banding partner/wife Jane Kading
Patty Ford with hummingbird, Tremont's Tiffany Beachy watches
The Zoo Knoxville's Steve McGaffin hands a hummingbird to be released to a young girl
Ijams vet Dr. Louise Conrad spoke about Birding Basics
Ijams Ashlind Bray shows one of our adopted snakes
Chris Mahoney spoke about hummingbird-loving plants
Ijams naturalist Christie Collins spoke about monarch butterfly loving plants