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Sun, Aug. 18

Sedona spreads its wings for 4th annual Hummingbird Fest

SEDONA - The 4th annual Sedona Hummingbird Festival invites residents and visitors alike to the Sedona Performing Arts Center and the greater Sedona area July 31 and Aug. 1-2 for three enchanting days of hummingbird presentations, expert lectures, birding trips, sunrise breakfasts, garden tours, and more.

The festival is sponsored by the International Hummingbird Society, a Sedona-based nonprofit education and conservation organization formed in 1996. The purpose of the festival is to educate all interested parties about hummingbirds and to learn how to work together to protect this endangered species.

The festival is timed to coincide with the presence of large numbers of southbound migrating hummingbirds who pass through Sedona on their way to wintering grounds in southern Mexico, with some coming from as far away as southern Alaska.

The influx raises the local hummingbird population hundreds of percent, and increases the number of hummingbird species from 2 to 5. Some local residents report having seen 500-2000 hummingbirds every day. This is based on nectar consumption as there are far too many of them to count manually.

There are several free events where attendees can come to experience hummingbirds first hand by visiting several identified "hummingbird hotspots" where there are large numbers of hummers. They can also watch individual birds be "banded" with unique identifying anklets for on-going scientific research.

One of more popular events requires a ticket purchase and advanced reservations. People are encouraged to sign up early for the "Sunrise Hummingbird Breakfasts," enjoying the wonder of watching hummingbirds having their breakfast in a beautiful garden setting designed for the hummers.

The core platform of this event is the symposium, which presents the opportunity for attendees to learn about all things hummingbird. Held at the beautiful Sedona Performing Arts Center, there will be three days of thought provoking presentations and discussions by world recognized hummingbird and conservation experts on a variety of topics: how they are cared for in aviaries, how to attract them, how to garden for them, and efforts to protect endangered hummingbirds (tickets required).

The keynote speaker this is year is Julie Zickefoose, a world renowned author, blogger and naturalist. She will make two presentations, on Saturday she will explore the intersection of birds and spirituality in our lives.

Sunday, she will lead a presentation on how nature has the power to heal us and bring us closer to the creative power that resides inside us, waiting to be released.

George Fenwick, a recognized author and authority on conservation is the president of the American Bird Conservancy. He will discuss how we can work together to encourage and enable conservation as well as how he has been helping to lead these efforts for over 30 years.

Noelle Johnson, is widely recognized horticulturalist, landscape designer and author, she will present a fascinating talk on "Creating a Mini-Hummingbird Garden in a Container."

Lisa Tell is the Director of the UC Davis Hummingbird Health and Conservation Program as well as a full-time faculty member in their School of Veterinary Medicine. She will do a presentation on how the UC Davis program is helping protect hummingbirds and their habitat.

Other presenters, their bios, and synopses of their presentations can be found at: www.hummingbirdsociety.org/presentations2015/

Learning extends to gardens, first with hummingbird presentations but also with self-guided Garden Tours to private gardens in the greater Sedona area.

Finally, attendees come to meet other hummingbird lovers and create friendships that can last a lifetime.

The 4th annual Sedona Hummingbird Festival will take place July 31, and Aug. 1-2, at the Sedona Performing Arts Center, 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona, Arizona.

For a special 10-percent discount on the three-day Speaker's Program Pass, please use this code when purchasing your tickets on our website: "TBT15."

Tickets can be purchased at www.hummingbirdsociety.org/purchase-tickets-2015.

For more information, call the Hummingbird Society at 1-800-529-3699 or (928) 284-2251.

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