News and Events

2020 Sedona Hummingbird Festival

On April 25, 2020, the Board of Directors, of the Hummingbird Society, cancelled the 2020 Sedona Hummingbird Festival due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health of participants and financial consideration were the chief concerns. Consequently, the festival has been rescheduled for July 30–August 1st, 2021. Tickets will be available from April 2021.

Normally, the festival is timed to coincide with the peak migrating hummingbird population and species representation—at times as many as seven—at Sedona. Typical festival activities include presentations by hummingbird experts, garden tours, bird banding, exhibits and sales and birding trips. The festivalꞌs ambiance and activities are enhanced by Sedonaꞌs famed, towering, glowing, red sandstone rocks, which is interspersed with forest greenery and by a meandering creek that tracts through vast acreage.

Sedona is located in the northern Verde Valley region, central and towards the eastern side of the U.S. state of Arizona. The state is recognized as one of the best for witnessing many hummingbird species in the United States.

The New, Amethyst-Woodstar of Trinidad and Tobago

The amethyst-woodstar, a hummingbird previously unknown to the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, was discovered on the island of Trinidad—its accepted distribution is central, eastern, and northern South America—during the months of May and June 2015. Note, the species arrival or discovery is not entirely radical as hummingbirds began their migration to the Caribbean from South America five million years ago. Multiple sightings were made at the island's Northern Range, at Lopinot, a small village, Yerette, a hummingbird garden attraction, and the Asa Wright Nature Centre. The sightings were confirmed by the Trinidad and Tobago Rare Bird Committee in February 2016.

The amethyst woodstar is a small hummingbird bearing some resemblance to the rufous-shafted woodstar, but is slightly larger, and is distinguished by short wings, white spots behind the eyes, white splashes on the posterior flanks, and the adult male is ornamented with a purple gorget. Otherwise, it has dark green-bronze upperparts and a forked tail.

Rediscovery of the Inagua Woodstar

On October 5, 2014 the American Ornithological Union (now the American Ornithological Society) accepted the conclusions that Inagua Woodstar (Calliphlox lyrura) was a distinct sub-species of the Bahama Woodstar (Calliphlox evelynae). The findings were based on the field work on New Providence, The Bahamas, begun in 2009 and completed in 2012, of Ms. Feo and ornithologist Dr. Christopher Clark from the University of California, Riverside.

The species belong to the "bees" clade and are endemic to the The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos. However, Inagua Woodstar (Calliphlox e. lyrura) range over the southern islands of Little and Great Inagua—it can be found in the Inagua National Park in Great Inagua--whilst Bahama Woodstar (Calliphlox evelynae) range over the rest of the Lucayan (Bahama) Archipelago. Recognized, in reports, as separate species up to 1945; they were then united in Peters' Check-list of Birds of the World. This was concurrent with a third sub-species on the Turks and Caicos, C, e. salita, which is no longer differentiated.

Shared characteristics are their size, small, about 7.62–10.16cm (3.0–4ins). They have greenish upperparts, violet throat, white chest, rufous abdomen and forked tails. Females and immature birds have white throats and the female's tail is rounded. But the male Inagua Woodstar is distinguished by a violet forehead and outwardly curving outer tail retrices. There are also differences in their calls and in the males' shuttle-displays during courtship.

This new species increases the Caribbean hummingbird count in the archipelago from to 38 to 39.

The Hummingbirds of Tucker Valley BioBlitz 2012

The Tucker Valley BioBlitz[1] 2012 was held from 17th to the18th of November, at Chaguaramas Peninsula, Trinidad. The event documented 98 species of birds from 41 families amongst which was the Trochilidae with seven representative hummingbird species: blue-chinned sapphire, copper-rumped hummingbird—the most common local hummingbird species—green hermit—favours foothills—long-billed starthroat, rufous-breasted hermit—favours grassland—tufted coquette, and the white-chested emerald. The tally represents one-third of the recorded Trinidad hummingbird species.

All the sightings were on the Morne Catherine Road, a seven-mile paved, climbing, and winding road, and, one of the sampling sights, leading to the summit of Morne Catherine (1,750 feet), and, the radar station of the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (AATT). The route offers a variety of habitat for hummingbirds as the lowest reaches are dominated by scrub on a gentle slope, but, later on, the vegetation turns to a forest and the climb steeper. The hummingbirds also benefit from the protected lands of the Environmental Research Station of the Centre for the Rescue of Endangered Species of Trinidad and Tobago (CRESTT) located on Morne Catherine.

1A BioBlitz is a biological survey, conducted by groups of scientists, naturalists, and volunteers over a short duration, usually 24 hours, aiming to document all the living species within a selected area. The Tucker Valley BioBlitz 2012 was organized by the curator of the University of the West Indies Zoology Museum (UWIZM), Mike Rutherford, with assistance from members of the UWI Department of Life Sciences, and, the Trinidad and Tobago Field Naturalists' Club (TTFNC).

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