August 23-26, 2018
Please See Additional Information Below for 2018 Attendees!
Note: Registration for the 2018 Hummingbird Celebration is Sold Out.
Special thanks to Texas Parks & Wildlife for use of hummingbird illustrations.
- New! View Summaries of Hummingbird Talks
- New! View Speaker Profiles
- View 2018 Hummingbird Celebration Schedule (PDF file)
- View the complete Field Trip details for the 2018 Hummingbird Celebration (PDF file)
- New! *UPDATED INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPECIAL FIELD TRIPS*
- Would you like to be a vendor at our tradeshow? Download the Application Now!
- Enter the 2nd annual Hummingbird Art & Photography Contest!
- New! Read our article, Hummingbirds of West Texas, compiled by West Texas Avian Research.
- Web Cam: Take a look at our amazing hummingbirds on the West Texas Hummingbird Feeder Cam!
- Pro Tips for Having a Good Outing at the 2018 Hummingbird Celebration
- Host Hotel: HOTEL LIMPIA
For other accommodations, visit fortdavis.com/visiting/accommodations
2018 Hummingbird Talks
Their aerial prowess, pugnacious nature, iridescent feathering, and pint-size charm understandably make hummingbirds more popular than gulls, terns, and peeps even though hummingbirds can present an identification challenge similar to those other groups. We will showcase species that have occurred in West Texas and focus on learning to identify species that you may see during the DMHC so you will feel more confident with your identification of hummingbirds battling around the feeders. Talk will conclude with a quiz to test your newly acquired skills.
Natural History of Black-chinned Hummingbirds
By Charles Floyd
Thursday, August 23, 3pm
at the High School Auditorium
and Saturday, August 25, 2pm
at the Hotel Limpia Ballroom
Join us for an exciting PowerPoint presentation and discussion about Black-chinned Hummingbirds based on years of banding experience and many thousands of banding records of Texas’ most widespread and familiar species of hummingbird.
By Kelly Bryan
Thursday, August 23, 7:30pm
at the High School Auditorium
Call it Magnificent or Rivoli’s? Only the nomenclature committee of the American Ornithologist Union makes that judgment. A common breeding species, only in the Davis Mountains of west Texas, the Rivoli’s Hummingbird is one of our largest and most colorful species. In an introduction to this bird, you will learn about its seasonal occurrence and distribution in Texas, as well as plumage characteristics.
The Wonder of Hummingbirds
By Dr. Johnny Bliznak
Friday, August 24, 3:00pm
at the Hotel Limpia Ballroom
Dr. Bliznak’s photography took highest honors in the 2017 Davis Mountains Hummingbird Photo competition. His program covers some amazing anatomic details and physiologic characteristics of hummingbirds. You will enjoy seeing ten Texas’ hummingbird species from his portfolio and will understand more about what makes these tiny birds “tick.”
Gardening for Hummingbirds
By Linda Hedges
Saturday, August 25, 2:00pm
at the High School Auditorium
Linda Hedges uses her own native plant garden as a case study to explore what works (and what doesn’t work) to attract hummers and other creatures into home environments. Her PowerPoint presentation briefly reviews the 12 species of hummingbirds that have been recorded at her home, then takes participants through the evolution of her native garden, from 1996 to the present. Linda shares the tenets of “gardening with wildlife in mind” and covers some of her favorite native species… and some anecdotes you won’t want to miss!
Feeding Hummingbirds Workshop
By Kelly Bryan
Saturday, August 25, 3:15pm
at the Kelly Pavilion
Call this session hummingbird feeders 101. This workshop will teach you the basics of selecting and maintaining your hummingbird feeders so that you will gain maximum enjoyment watching your hummingbirds. Find out how to ant proof, bee and wasp proof and pest proof your feeders. Putting out feeders is not rocket science; however, if done properly you will reap maximum enjoyment with minimum effort. You will learn that your selection of a feeder style will depend on several factors, including but not limited to, geographical area, volume of birds feeding, setup strategy, and environmental conditions.
- 2018 DMHC Friday Evening Banquet & Keynote Address
Winter Hummingbirds in Texas by Fred Bassett
Fred Bassett, a certified master bird bander is also President of Hummingbird Research, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to the study and preservation of hummingbirds. Fred is a retired Air Force pilot who has worked with birds and hummingbirds for the last twenty-five years. During winter, for the past twenty years, Fred has been documenting western hummingbirds wintering in Alabama and Florida, capturing more than 3,500 hummingbirds of eleven different species. He travels each summer to study hummingbirds in western states and has done hummingbird research in Alaska and Canada. He has banded more than 30,000 hummingbirds at more than 1,100 locations from Miami Florida to Haines, Alaska. Results of Fred’s research have been presented in several national publications.
- Donna L. Dittmann is originally from San Francisco and has a BA in Zoology from UC Berkeley. Birds and birding have been her primary interest and a driving force since childhood. She volunteered at the California Academy of Sciences one summer while a high school student where she garnered her appreciation for museum science and first learned how to prepare specimens. She started her career at LSUMNS in 1983 and has participated on expeditions to Peru, Bolivia, Panama, Cameroon, and many US destinations including the Hawaiian Islands. She has worked in her current position as Collections Manager of Genetic Resources, permit coordinator, and specimen preparator since 1992. Research interests include genetics, distribution, identification, and molt of birds with emphasis on those species occurring in North America, which have resulted in numerous publications in scientific journals and popular outlets. She has contributed over 11,000 prepared specimens to various museums. She has been active with the birding community since childhood, leading trips and workshops, and is currently the long-running Secretary of the Louisiana Ornithological Society’s (LOS) Louisiana Bird Records Committee (LBRC), Editor of the LBRC Annual Newsletter, and editor of the LOS News. She and Steve Cardiff co-founded the unique birding-agritourism Yellow Rails and Rice Festival, celebrating its tenth year in 2018. She is also an artist and artwork her has been published in various scientific and popular publications. She won last year’s Fort Davis Library Show in the Fine Art division and has three pieces entered in this year’s competition. She is also a vendor at this year’s DMHC – please visit her table.
- Steve Cardiff grew up in California birding and helping his father, Eugene, Curator of Birds at the San Bernardino County Museum. He completed a BS in Biology at the University of California, Riverside, in 1979, and was working toward a Masters in Zoology at LSU from 1979-83 (advised by Dr. J. V. Remsen) before assuming his current position in 1984 as Collections Manager for Birds and Mammals at the LSU Museum of Natural Science (LSUMNS). From 1980-1997 Steve spent a combined 2 years of his life on LSUMNS expeditions to Bolivia, Peru, and Panama, and during almost 40 years at LSUMNS he has spent thousands of additional days conducting fieldwork in AZ, CA, HI, ID, LA, NM, NC, TX, WA, and the Gulf of Mexico. Steve has contributed over 9000 research specimens, mostly birds, to various institutions. He is a longtime Member and Chair of the Louisiana Ornithological Society’s Louisiana Bird Records Committee, and currently serves as President of LOS. Steve also volunteers as the primary eBird reviewer for Jeff Davis County, TX and as an occasional eBird reviewer for Brewster, Presidio, and Reeves counties, TX, and Louisiana. Research interests include general status and distribution of the birds of Louisiana as well as several desert regions including the Trans-Pecos, East Mojave Desert of southern California, and the Tumbesian Region of NW Peru. More specific ongoing projects include status of Lesser Black-backed Gull and California Gull in Louisiana, colonization of Louisiana’s Chandeleur Islands by Kelp Gull and Herring Gull (and their subsequent hybridization), status and distribution of pelagic birds in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana, the pathology of late migrant and vagrant birds, plumages and molt sequence of the Yellow-footed Gull, plumages, molt, and diet of the Yellow Rail, the “alternate” plumage of hummingbirds, hybridization of Glossy and White-faced ibis, and genetic and seasonal status of eastern and western Willet. Among Steve’s publications are the Birds of North America species accounts for Brown-crested and Ash-throated flycatchers (co-authored with Donna L. Dittmann).
- Charles Floyd is a retired science teacher and school administrator who has spent his retirement years as a federally licensed master bird bander. Each year, he traps thousands of birds of many species for research purposes. From hummingbirds to hawks, he has intimate knowledge of most of the birds of west Texas, their habits and habitats. He and Kelly Bryan of Ft. Davis lead West Texas Avian Research, Inc., a non-profit organization of bird banders devoted to the study of birds in the western part of Texas. He has been a presenter for many of the nature/birding festivals across the state including the Rockport Hummerbird Celebration, the San Angelo Symposium and Nature Quest at Concan. A past resident of San Angelo, he and his wife Nancy reside in the mountains west of Ft. Davis where he conducts bird research involving the many unique species at that location. He continues to band regularly at the Hummer House at Christoval where he and his banding team have banded many thousands of birds.
- Dr. Johnny Bliznak is a recently retired radiologist, who graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in zoology and with an M.D. degree from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. He has a passion for hummingbirds and started photographing them and other birds 11 years ago while visiting his son in southeast Arizona. He has photographed hummingbirds in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Costa Rica. He has photographed other species of birds in Canada, Alaska, South Africa, Mozambique, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania, and the Galapagos Islands.
- Kelly Bryan came to Fort Davis in 1991 as superintendent of Davis Mountains State Park. A native Texan, who served in the Vietnam conflict in the early 70s, he later completed a Master’s Degree at Sam Houston State University. He worked for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department starting in 1976. Since college, bird banding has always been a passion. He and his assistants have banded over 50,000 songbirds and now 20,000 hummingbirds. In retirement, he has led the West Texas Hummingbird Project with the assistance of Marc & Maryann Eastman, Charles & Nancy Floyd, Rich & Brenda Gatchell, Carolyn Ohl, his wife Donna and others. Now that he lives high up in the Davis Mountains, songbird banding studies have once again been added to his list of projects. So far, the highlight of his mountain work was the documentation of the first US and Texas record for the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird. Recently published in NorthAmerican Birds, this important work adds to his growing list of publications on the ornithology of Texas.
- Linda Hedges, originally from Independence, MO, has lived in Fort Davis, TX, since 1994. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts from University of Missouri – Kansas City and a Master of Science in Biology from Sul Ross State University. Linda worked for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department for over 18 years, serving first as a biologist in the Natural Resources Program and later as Regional Interpretive Specialist, a position in which she worked with 20 state parks on educational programs, literature and exhibits. Linda is a Texas Master Naturalist and has been active in the Tierra Grande Chapter, particularly since her retirement in 2014. She is also an active member and volunteer with Native Plant Society of Texas – Big Bend Chapter. Linda loves both native plant gardening and birding – passions and pastimes that complement one another beautifully!