Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Hummingbird Festival celebrates return of broad-tailed hummingbirds

By Jen Mulson Updated: May 8, 2014 at 9:46 am

10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Starsmore Discovery Center, 2120 N. Cheyenne Canon Road, free; 385-6086, cheyennecanon.org.

Something else: Free shuttle service from Cheyenne Mountain Junior High School, starting at 9:45 a.m., leaves every 30 minutes, 1200 W. Cheyenne Road

 

The male broad-tailed hummingbirds arrived around Tax Day, just in time to scout out territory for their summer homes in North Cheyenne Canon.

Every year the folks at Starsmore Discovery Center put out feeders for the little guys, who are attracted to the park with all its water and lush plant life.

The 21st annual Hummingbird Festival welcomes them home on Saturday.

This year, the festival is especially poignant, says Cathy Railton, North Cheyenne Canon parks operation administrator. The park reopened in January after being closed in September due to flooding.

"It's our first big celebration since last year's devastating floods," she says. "It's nice to see how good we look now and how well we've recovered. And we'll see lots of hummingbirds out here. That's the greatest part."

Railton says attendees might even get to witness a male hummingbird courting dance - a bird soaring high, then zooming down past the female bird and finishing with a little dance to catch her attention. He makes a loud trilling sound as he flies, Railton says. If the female bird accepts his overtures, the two fly off together like a rocket up into the sky.

"They (hummingbirds) are so fast that they are fearless of people," Railton says. "We have lots of feeders around, so people can get up close and get really good photos."

Other festival highlights include music acts, magic, presentations on hummingbirds, a children's carnival, food, vendors, crafts, a rescued wild mustang and more.

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270, jen.mulson@gazette.com

 

Other events

Chauncy Crandall and Friends - 8 p.m. Friday, Stargazers Theatre and Event Center, 10 S. Parkside Drive, free; 476-2200, stargazers theatre.com.

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