2018 Davis Mountains Hummingbird Celebration

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.

 

2018 Hummingbird Talks

West Texas Hummingbird ID
By Donna Dittmann and Steve Cardiff
Thursday, August 23, 2pm and Friday, August 24, 2pm
at the High School Auditorium

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.

Rivoli’s 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.

Speakers

  • 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!