Hummingbirds and other winged creatures are the focus of Ijams Nature Center’s 12th annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival: A Celebration of Wings on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The highlight of this outdoor educational festival is the bird banding demonstration, a behind-the-scenes look at how scientists capture birds, how they are banded, and why banding is important. Certified master bander Mark Armstrong will weigh, measure, band and talk about the birds before allowing one person in each group to release the bird.
Bird banding is scheduled in 30-minute appointments starting at 7 a.m.; the last appointment is 12:30 p.m. Like most birds, hummingbirds are MOST ACTIVE in the early morning, so your best chance to see a ruby-throated hummingbird being banded is during the earlier appointments.
Before or after their bird banding appointment, attendees can enjoy opportunities to meet and learn about some of the animals, including birds of prey, that call Ijams home, naturalist-guided “Nature Nerd” hikes, educational booths and activities for kids and adults, dipnetting with Ijams educators and more.
Tickets should be purchased in advance by choosing one of the 30-minute appointments. Tickets are $10 for adults (current Ijams members receive a $2 discount) and $5 for children ages 2-12). Children under 2 are free. If appointment slots are still available on the day of the festival, tickets will be sold at the festival entrance at the Ijams Homesite.
Ijams also is offering a Bird Nerd Speaker Series led by naturalist, author and artist Stephen Lyn Bales leading up to the festival. Programs, which are geared toward ages 10+, include:
- The Mystery of Monarchs: Saturday, Aug. 6, 6-8 p.m.
- Identifying Local Birds of Prey: Tuesday, Aug. 9, 6-8 p.m.
- The Hidden Wonders of Hummingbirds: Thursday, Aug. 11, 6-8 p.m.
Tickets for each talk are $8 per person.
For more information or to purchase tickets for the festival or Bird Nerd Speaker Series, visit Ijams.org/ijams-hummingbird-festival.
The 12th annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival: A Celebration of Wings is sponsored by Accenture, WBIR-TV Channel 10, HomeTrust Bank, Stanley’s Greenhouse, Tennessee Wildlife Federation, and Wild Birds Unlimited.
Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 318-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 12 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually for all ages. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open daily from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit Ijams.org.