There is a hum of excitement in the air at the Pascagoula River Audubon Center as the staff prepares for its first-ever Hummingbird Festival. Held in conjunction with the fall migration, the Hummingbird Festival will be Sept. 13 and 14 and features activities for all ages.
While the festival will feature exhibitors, vendors, children’s activities and educational talks, the highlight of the two-day event will be watching expert banders safely capture the hummingbirds so that they can be measured, weighed and banded before releasing them for visitors to enjoy.
The staff is preparing to welcome school groups on Friday for a private exhibition of the banding and other educational experiences that focus on state science objectives. Friday evening the center will open for Hummingbird Happy Hour where adults will enjoy an opportunity to socialize with the banders and other patrons and enjoy light snacks and beverages on the bayou. A commemorative wine glass will also be sold along with other festival merchandise.
From 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, the Center will welcome guests of all ages for a day filled with hummingbird banding, special educational presentations on climate change and the use of native plants in the landscape, children’s crafts and face painting, and a host of exhibitors and vendors. Native plants will also be sold throughout the festival and will feature some of the most requested plants from the spring sale. The species chosen for this sale should be winter hardy and provide color to the landscape while attracting attract birds, butterflies, and pollinators.
“We are very excited about this event and have been preparing a hummingbird oasis in anticipation for the migration,” said Susan Stachowski, manager of the Pascagoula River Audubon Center. “It is our desire to make this an annual event on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.”
The ten-acre center will be bustling with activity, so visitors are encouraged to purchase tickets online ahead of time for the Saturday festivities. Tickets are available for $5 – $10 at pascagoula.audubon.org/hummingbird.