September 13, 2007, Article
by David Rodriguez
ROCKPORT-FULTON — Celebrate the ruby-throated hummingbirds and all fall migrants at the 19th Annual Hummer/Bird Celebration in Rockport and Fulton Sept 13-16. Many opportunities exist to see and learn more about these delightful airborne creatures during bird banding, bus/boat and nature tours, lectures, vendor hall, workshops and of course, Hummer Home tours.
This annual event began as a celebration of the huge numbers of ruby-throated hummingbirds that migrate through the Rockport-Fulton area each fall. This spectacular natural phenomenon was first reported by Texas’ most famous birdwatcher and the Texas Women of the Century, Connie Hagar. Like many of her observations, this one was met with skepticism. The sheer numbers of hummingbirds she reported-as many as 3,000 per square mile-were hard to ignore and the ornithology experts began to investigate. Again, as with her other observations, Mrs. Hagar was found to be reporting fact. Although the numbers were hard to believe, they were real and birdwatchers began to come to Rockport to see for themselves. The hummingbirds and the birdwatchers still meet here each fall.
Each year, approximately 5,000 people attend the event. Many are interested solely in seeing the tiny gem we celebrate. One way they do this is to visit the more than 20 area Hummer Homes. In fact, a large segment of the area population feeds and celebrates hummingbirds all year.
The ruby-throated hummingbird is overwhelmingly predominate, but we do see numbers of black-chinned, rufous, and buff-bellied hummingbirds, and have had reports of others. Attendees can find hummingbirds almost anywhere they look. Although much habitat has been lost to development all along the Texas Coast, the Rockport-Fulton area is fortunate to still have good stands of live oak, other trees and plants necessary to the diet of the hummingbirds.
Information is available at www.rockporthummingbird.com or by calling 1-800-826-6441. Celebration will be at the ACISD School Complex Thursday thru Sunday, Sept 13-16. 2007.
Remember, Learn and Have Fun!
David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture for Bexar County. He represents Texas Cooperative Extension with the Texas A&M University System. To get questions like these answered, call the Bexar County Master Gardeners Hotline at (210) 467-6575, e-mail questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our County Extension website at: https://bexar-tx.tamu.edu, click under Horticulture and Gardening.
Special Note: Listen to a live broadcast of the Garden Show with David Rodriguez and Bill Rohde on WOAI 1200 AM every Saturday morning, between 8:00 and 11:00 a.m., call in your gardening questions at (210-737-1200 or 1-800-383-9624). Check it out!