Hummingbird Festival

The 9th Annual
Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Festival Hours: 8 am – 2 pm
Banding Demonstrations: 8 – 11:30 am*


The Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival features speakers on nature topics, wildlife educational demonstrations, a kids activity area, and vendors selling food and drinks, plants, locally made arts and crafts, bird feeders and supplies, and garden items. The highlight is the chance for visitors to get close to ruby-throated hummingbirds and learn about them during banding demonstrations by Mark Armstrong, a certified Master Bander.

hummingbird vickie Hummingbirds are harmlessly captured, weighed, measured and banded before being released. Banding provides a way to document hummingbird movement during migration. August and September are heavy migration months in Tennessee as thousands of hummingbirds fly south to wintering grounds in Central America and southern Mexico.


You’ll learn how to attract hummingbirds, the basics of birding and more at educational sessions. PLUS, attendees at every session will have the chance to win a Perky Pet hummingbird feeder!

9:30 am:  Monarch Butterflies: From Egg to Migration
(Stephen Lyn Bales- Author, Illustrator, Naturalist)

After a brief introduction into monarch butterfly migration of where they go in the fall and how we know it, naturalist Stephen Lyn Bales will turn to monarch metamorphosis. Through a series of 75 photographs he took in July, we’ll follow a single tiny caterpillar for three weeks as it eats milkweed and grows until it pupates and then emerges from the chrysalis ten days later as an adult butterfly ready to fly away. Suitable for ages 12+

10:30 am: Hummingbirds- Small, But Mighty, Marvels
(Tyler Edmondson- Ijams Nature Center)

Did you know that some species of hummingbirds weigh less than a penny? And did you realize that based on body size, a hummingbird makes the longest migratory journey of any bird in the world? Have you ever seen the brilliant flash of ruby red feathers on a hummingbird’s throat? Hummingbirds are truly the small, but might, marvels of the avian world! During this engaging presentation, come and learn just ow small, mighty, and marvelous hummingbirds really are through crafts, storytelling, dialogue, and sensory engagement. Suitable for ages 7+

11:30 am: Backyard Butterflies
(Steve McGaffin- Zoo Knoxville)

With over 281 species of butterflies and moths in the state of Tennessee, there is a seemingly endless diversity of colorful winged wonders! Not only are they beautiful, but they also play an important role in our landscape. Join us for a Q&A style program where we’ll explore the importance of pollinators, challenges to their survival, and how you can get involved at home and in the field to create habitat and help scientists study them. Suitable for ages 10+

12:30 pm: A Hummingbird for all Seasons
(Mark Armstrong, East Tennessee Avian Research)

You may be familiar with the Ruby-throated Humminbird that calls East Tennessee home during the summer, but did you know that there are other species of these tiny flyers at other times of the year? Join certified hummingbird bander Mark Armstrong as he discusses hummingbird identification, health, and seasonality of hummingbird sightings throughout the year. Suitable for ages 10+

Children’s Activities (8:00 am – 2:00 pm)

Join us in the Visitor Center for a variety of hands-on children’s activities all about hummingbirds! From creating your own hummingbird nest to designing your own hummingbird collage, these fun and educational activities have something for everyone! Children can even be banded- just like the actual hummingbirds- with a custom bird band bracelet that is theirs to keep! All activities are free with paid admission. Suitable for ages 4+

On the lawn in front of the Visitor Center, families can also participate in some active outdoor games that help illustrate some fascinating hummingbird adaptations. In Bird Beak Buffet, children will use chopsticks, replicating hummingbird beaks, to attempt to catch various food items. Migration Hurdles illustrates some of the challenges these tiny birds face as they migrate over 500 miles to Mexico and Central America. All activities are free with paid admission. Suitable for ages 4+

Marketplace (8:00 am – 2:00 pm)

The festival also features local makers that specialize in nature-themed products, from photography and pottery to jewelry and textiles. There will also be several local nurseries, featuring a wide variety of native plants designed to attract hummingbirds and other pollinators to your yard.

Ticket Prices
$8 Admission (ages 12 and up)
$4 Children (ages 5-11)
FREE (Children 4 and under)
$20 Family (Parents/guardians and up to 4 children)


Special thanks to the following sponsors for supporting this event!

Media Sponsor
WBIR-TV Channel 10

Buff-Bellied Sponsor
Ergon Terminaling, Inc.
HomeTrust Bank

Calliope Sponsors
Agri Feed Pet Supply
City of Knoxville
Renewal by Anderson
Stanley’s Greenhouse
Tennessee Wildlife Federation
Visit Knoxville
Wild Birds Unlimited

With Support From:
Perky Pet
The Round-Up Restaurant & Ice Cream Parlor


Parking for this event is available in all Ijams parking lots.


Dogs are not allowed at the Wonder of Hummingbirds Festival. While dogs are welcome at many Ijams events, the festival is not a good fit since speakers are indoors (where dogs are not allowed) and dogs are not allowed at the banding station. Thanks for understanding.