All of our presentations take place in the handicapped accessible, sloped seating, climate-controlled Sedona Performing Arts Center auditorium, which is also equipped with a large on-stage screen and excellent acoustics. We will offer 14 presentations plus a special dance performance this year. Read on to find out what our speakers will be sharing with you this year!

Each presentation is 45 minutes long, with up to 15 minutes allotted for audience questions afterward.

Tickets: $150 for all three days of presentations (advance sales only); Friday and Saturday, $60 each, Sunday $50

Friday Speakers

July 26th, 2024

Carole Turek, M.D.
Carole Turek, M.D.

Hummingbirds in Trouble: Photographing the Endangered Species

Presented by Carole Turek, M.D.

Intrepid hummingbird photographer and founder of The Hummingbird Spot

4 – 4:45pm
Carole Turek is on a quest to photograph all hummingbird species that exist today. In pursuit of that challenging goal, she has encountered endangered and critically endangered hummingbirds — some have populations numbering fewer than 50 individuals. During this presentation, Carole will thrill and inspire you as she shares the adventures and insights she experienced while seeking and photographing these rare beauties.

Carole first attended the Sedona Hummingbird Festival in 2016, where she saw Juan Bahamon’s presentation on the hummingbirds of Ecuador. Inspired by his talk and her own experiences feeding hummingbirds, Carole soon became determined to find and photograph every hummingbird species that exists today. She has been traveling to many remote places on a quest to do so, starting with the most endangered and difficult-to-find hummingbird species first. ​You can follow her on her YouTube Channel “Hummingbird Spot” and on her website www.hummingbirdspot.com.

​Carole has a BS from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA (Biology and Chemistry), and an MD from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, PA. She has been a practicing anesthesiologist since 1985.

Visit Carole’s website ⇒

Stan Tekiela
Stan Tekiela

Hummingbirds: Marvels of the Bird World

Presented by Stan Tekiela

Naturalist, author, and photographer

2:45 – 3:30pm
Stan Tekiela has made it his life’s mission to share the beauty and science of the natural world with as many people as he can reach. Having authored and illustated more than 200 nature guides, Stan is intimately familiar with the flora and fauna of North America. Among his very favorite subjects is hummingbirds, and in this talk Stan will take a fun and entertaining look inside their unique world. He will talk about how hummingbirds feed, catch insects, mate, migrate and so much more. Stan traveled all over the US to study and capture the many dazzling images of hummingbirds he will share in this presentation.

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela has authored more than 200 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota and as an active professional naturalist for more than 35 years, Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States and has received various national and regional awards for his books and photographs. Also a well-known columnist and radio personality, his syndicated column appears in over 20 newspapers and his wildlife programs are broadcast on a number of Midwest radio stations.

Visit Stan’s website ⇒

Rich Armstrong
Rich Armstrong

Hummingbird Adventures in the Lower 48

Presented by Rich Armstrong, Ph.D.

Master birder

1:30 – 2:15pm
Of the nearly 370 hummingbird species that exist today, fewer than 20 can be found in the U.S. Twenty gorgeous, entertaining, sometimes surprisingly elusive species. Come hear master birder Rich Armstrong recount humorous stories of his adventures pursuing his “Hummingbirds in the U.S.” life list. From Texas to Arizona to the West Coast, from yards to mountains to special places to chases, Rich reports it has been frustrating and exciting to document sightings of 19 1/2 species. How can it be 19 1/2? You’ll have to come hear Rich’s talk to find out!

Rich Armstrong became a serious birder with his wife Nanette 35 years ago when they lived in Texas, and together they birded across North America. Eleven years ago they moved to Arizona, and Rich has since become coordinator of the Sedona Christmas Bird Count, the “birding pal” for the Verde Valley, and coordinator of the North America Migratory Bird Count for Yavapai County. He is the local Audubon Chapter Steward for the Sedona Wetlands Preserve. Affectionately known as the “big mouth of the valley,” he has led over 100 birding field trips at the Wetlands with his spotting scope always in tow. Those who bird with Rich say he definitely deserves the title “fastest scope in the west.” Rich received his PhD in Nuclear Inorganic Chemistry from Stanford University, retired as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, and was a chemist for Texaco Chemical for 20 years.

Becky Hardy
Becky Hardy

Monarch Butterflies: Myth, Truths and my Observations

Presented by Becky Hardy

Butterfly expert

11 – 11:45am
Monarch butterflies are probably the most recognized butterfly species in the United States, due mostly to their approximately 3000-mile migration to central Mexico each fall. Each year, as the Monarchs return to Mexico, they bring with them an enduring cultural myth. Aside from this myth, Monarchs are fascinating creatures! Join Becky Hardy to learn more about Monarch butterflies, their behavior and the most incredible insect migration.

Becky Hardy has had a lifelong passion for butterflies, which has led to countless hours of interaction with and observation of these beautiful, complex creatures. Over the years, Becky has observed, researched and reared thousands of butterflies across a variety of species. She has presented to multiple organizations about butterflies, and her presentation at the 2023 Sedona Hummingbird Festival was a crowd favorite. As Northern Arizona Audubon Society’s education chair, Becky shares her enthusiasm and passion for butterflies by facilitating field trips and citizen science events. She has participated in several North American Butterfly Association (NABA) butterfly counts, most recently as the sector leader for Dead Horse Ranch State Park. In 2023, she observed a butterfly species that had never been recorded in the Verde Valley before.

Michael and Kathi Rock
Michael and Kathi Rock

Gardening for Hummingbirds with Salvias

Presented by Michael and Kathi Rock

Hummingbird Garden experts

9:45 – 10:30am
Michael and Kathi Rock have been dedicated hummingbird gardeners for more than 20 years. During that time, they traveled across America to see hummingbirds and hummingbird gardens and to consult with hummingbird experts as they continually developed and improved the garden at their Wisconsin home. In their presentation they will give an overview of hummingbird gardening essentials and talk in-depth about salvias and why these “hidden treasures” can form an outstanding foundation for a hummingbird garden anywhere in the U.S.

Hummingbird gardening has been Michael and Kathi’s passion for more than two decades. When they first started out, they had one hummingbird feeder, a pot of Salvia splendens, and a city yard filled with trees, turf grass, and hummingbird unfriendly shrubbery. That first year it took them until August to see their first hummingbird and after that, they were hooked! Today they have a yard filled with the best and many unusual flowers, as well as up to 20 feeders. Michael and Kathi have been presenting “Gardening for Hummingbirds” programs for about 20 years, and they have been featured in a short film called “A Place In The Garden.” They offer Hummingbird Garden Tours of their Madison, Wisconsin yard every September.

Visit Michael’s and Kathi’s ⇒

Saturday Speakers

July 27th, 2024

Nancy Windheart
Nancy Windheart

Hummingbird Perspectives: What do the Hummingbirds Have to Say?

Presented by Nancy Windheart

Interspecies Communicator

4 – 4:45pm
In this presentation, Nancy Windheart will share what she has learned from hummingbirds in her decades-long work as an interspecies communicator and teacher. She will give a brief overview of interspecies communication and how it can be helpful in understanding the perspectives of other-than-human beings, including hummingbirds. Then she will share some of the unique perspectives of hummingbirds on their lives, their consciousness and awareness, including their perspective on humans and the impacts of climate change on the health of their populations and the Earth.

Nancy Windheart is an internationally recognized animal communicator. She teaches interspecies communication for both lay people and those who wish to practice professionally, and provides animal communication consultations, intuitive and energy healing sessions, and professional mentoring for clients worldwide. Her students have included scientists, trainers, behaviorists, animal rescue professionals, and veterinarians. Nancy’s work has been featured in television, radio, magazine, and online media, and she has written for many digital and print publications. Nancy’s life’s work is to create deeper harmony between species and on our planet through interspecies communion, connection, and communication, and to facilitate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth for both people and animals. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her animal family of dogs, cats, and chickens.

Visit Nancy’s website ⇒

Eliana Fierro-Calderon
Eliana Fierro-Calderon

Hummingbirds of Columbia: The Jewels of the Crown

Presented by Eliana Fierro-Calderon

International Conservation Project Officer, American Bird Conservancy

2:45 – 3:30pm
Colombia is considered a megadiverse country, ranking first in the world in the number of bird species, with a total of 1,969, including 165 species of hummingbirds. Eliana will talk about how this huge diversity came about, what we know about some of the country’s most endangered hummingbirds, and what is being done to protect them.

Born and raised in Colombia, Eliana Fierro-Calderon has been working with birds for 20 years, focusing on the conservation of threatened and endemic bird species and their habitats. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems. Eliana is the author of conservation plans for four endangered bird species in Colombia, as well as many educational materials in Spanish. She has also participated in field research projects in Borneo, Ecuador, and the USA. In her role as International Conservation Project Officer at American Bird Conservancy, Eliana works closely with local partners in Colombia and Venezuela to protect habitat for some of the most endangered species in the Americas, including the Gorgeted Puffleg, the Cundinamarca Antpitta, and the Red Siskin. Eliana enjoys reading, traveling, and birding. In March, she recorded her 1,000th bird species in Colombia.
Stan Tekiela
Stan Tekiela

Secrets of Wildflowers

Presented by Stan Tekiela

Naturalist, author, and photographer

1:30 – 2:15pm
Wildflowers color our lives. Professional naturalist and award-winning photographer Stan Tekiela will present the fascinating world of wildflowers in a way that will deepen your knowledge and appreciation for wildflowers and their role in the lifecycle of so many insects, birds, and mammals.

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela has authored more than 200 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota and as an active professional naturalist for more than 35 years, Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States and has received various national and regional awards for his books and photographs. Also a well-known columnist and radio personality, his syndicated column appears in over 20 newspapers and his wildlife programs are broadcast on a number of Midwest radio stations.

Visit Stan’s website ⇒

Maria Hedrick
Maria Hedrick

The Magic of Chasing Hummingbirds for 30 years

Presented by Maria Hedrick

Missouri master naturalist

11 – 11:45am
Maria Hedrick started adventuring to see hummingbirds in the early ’90s, and she has been at it ever since, traveling to nearly every country in Central America, five countries in South America, and the Bahamas and Carribean. She intentionally does not bring a camera, preferring to fully drink in each hummingbird encounter. Now having experienced the thrill of seeing more than 200 species of hummingbird, Maria will talk about her “top 25” hummingbirds, why she is addicted to chasing hummingbirds, her memorable experiences in Cuba, and other adventures along the way.

Maria is passionate about hummingbirds and all nature. She is a Missouri Master Naturalist and a long-time monarch butterfly tagger. She is a scuba diver and loves hiking, including her highest climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. Maria loves to volunteer, play tennis and go on adventures with her family. She has a wonderful supportive husband, two awesome boys and three amazing chihuahuas. She works full-time in technology sales to fund her adventures. Her favorite words are: adventure, iridescence, metamorphosis — and Zunzuncito. Her motto is Carpe Diem!

Lisa Langell

Make it Great: Tips for Improving your Hummingbird Photography

Presented by Lisa Langell

Master photographer and photography instructor

9:45 – 10:30am
In this talk, Lisa Langell will share her insights on how to take a great hummingbird photo. Sounds simple, and many of the concepts are tried and true. But hummingbird photography is particularly challenging because the subjects are so tiny and fast-moving, and they certainly have no interest in making things easier for a photographer. Whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer, you will leave this talk with inspiration and new ideas for taking your imagery to the next level.

Lisa loves creating nature photography and art that is inspired by her background in psychology and design. When Lisa isn’t having fun making photographs, she’s thriving on teaching photography. Several times per year she offers Hummingbird Photography workshops in Southeastern Arizona, and they sell out in minutes. Her humility and passion for teaching and photography shines through in how she provides memorable, fun, and educational experiences that enrich, invigorate and expand photographers’ minds in wonderful ways.

Visit Lisa’s website ⇒

Sedona Dance Academy
Sedona Dance Academy

Dance of the Hummingbirds

Presented by Sedona Dance Academy

9:30 -9:45am
We open Saturday’s presentations with the gift of a youth performance dedicated to hummingbirds. Members of the Sedona Dance Academy will perform “Dance of the Hummingbirds.” This beautiful dance represents the heart and all its flurry as it goes through the day, like a hummingbird. What a great way to start the day!

More than a dance class, Sedona Dance Academy is an immersive community fostering friendship, artistry, athleticism, and soul in the Verde Valley area.

Visit the Sedona Dance Academy’s website ⇒

Sunday Speakers

July 28th, 2024

Beth Kingsley Hawkins
Beth Kingsley Hawkins

Love’s Messengers: Hummingbirds up Close

Presented by Beth Kingsley Hawkins, M.A.

Spiritual nature photographer, author, and Hummingbird Gallery owner

2:45 – 3:30pm
David Attenborough speaks of hummingbirds as the messengers of plants, carrying the pollen from flower to flower to help them thrive. Beth Kingsley Hawkins will address, in word and image, how they can also be messengers for us — often coming at just the right moment in our lives to bring us meaning, helping us to thrive. She will share images of some special hummingbird nests she has photographed and also tell us of some surprising new information on hummingbird behavior. In addition, she will speak to the mystical, mythical, spiritual dimension, sharing amazing stories of how hummingbirds can connect us to our loved ones in Spirit to help us understand that love never dies.

Following the passing in 2020 of her late husband Ross Hawkins, who founded the International Hummingbird Society in 1996, Beth served as Executive Director of the Society for 3 years. Since 2006 she has also operated her for-profit Sedona Hummingbird Gallery, which features her photography and everything hummingbird. Hummingbirds have been a source of inspiration for Beth who has traveled extensively to experience and photograph them, and to give talks and share stories about them. She is the author of two books, Anna’s in the Snow and Hummy, the Magnificent: How a Hummingbird Learned to Read. She is now completing her third book, Love’s Messengers, Hummingbird Stories of Hope and Healing, designed around her definition of a hummingbird.

Beth has a master’s degree in music and music therapy from the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She has worked as a music therapist in a variety of settings, work she continues in private practice. She is also a Reiki master and offers Personal Totem Pole work, identifying the animal allies in each of the chakras of the body.

Steve Bouricius
Steve Bouricius

10 Years On: Insights from Banding at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival

Presented by Steve Bouricius

Master bander

1:30 – 2:15pm
After banding hundreds of hummingbirds of seven species (and one hybrid) over the 10 Sedona Hummingbird Festivals, Steve Bouricius will share what he and his team have learned about Sedona’s hummingbirds — and what questions they continue to pursue.

Steve Bouricius and his wife Deb are engaged in several multi-faceted studies of hummingbirds including a 15 year study of Black-chinned Hummingbirds nesting in their apple orchard. Steve is a master bird bander with 23 years of experience banding hummingbirds and dippers. He has led a team of hummingbird banders at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival since 2012.

In 2001, Steve and Deb were first in the nation to earn hummingbird bander certification by the North American Banding Council. They later certified as hummingbird banding trainers. They are licensed by the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Steve has conducted field trips, seminars, presentations and banding demonstrations for thousands of people over the years. He is a past president of the Colorado Field Ornithologists and served on its board of directors for nine years.

Ethan Temeles
Ethan Temeles

Effect of Hurricane Maria on Pollination and Natural Selection in a Specialized Hummingbird-Plant Pollination System in the Eastern Caribbean

Presented by Ethan Temeles, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Amherst College

11 – 11:45am
The Purple-throated Carib is a spectacular hummingbird native to the mountain rainforests and cloud forests of the Lesser Antilles. It is one of the largest hummingbirds in the world and is unusual for its extreme sexual dimorphism: although sexes are similar in plumage, males are 25% larger than females yet females have bills that are 20% longer and 40% more curved than bills of males. Here I review 20 years of research on the biology of these birds and their highly specialized relationship to two native plants that serve as their primary food source and the basis for their mating system. I then discuss the impacts of Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane with 165 mph winds, that struck the island of Dominica on 19 September 2017, on the biology of these birds and their potential for recovery.

Ethan Temeles has taught at Amherst for over twenty years. His research has been published in Science and the Proceedings of the Royal Society, and he has been profiled in The Associated Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year(2004, 2001) and is featured in the Partners in Evolution exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and in PBS-Nature “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.” With his collaborators and students, he has studied extensively the roles of feeding ecology and mating behavior in relation to the bill morphology and body size of the Purple-throated Carib Hummingbird, native to the mountainous islands of the Lesser Antilles. His results have added a new dimension to our understanding of how birds can evolve based on their feeding behavior.

Gamini Ratnavira
Gamini Ratnavira

Illustrated Stories from a Lifetime of Observing and Painting Wildlife

Presented by Gamini Ratnavira

Renowned wildlife artist

9:45 – 10:30am
This talk is a special not-to-be-missed treat from artist Gamini Ratnavira. It grew out of his presentation at the 2023 Sedona Hummingbird Festival: Gamini painted a hummingbird live onstage while casually sharing spellbinding stories of wildlife he has encountered over the course of his life. Now at our request, Gamini has created this talk, complete with his own illustrations, about some of his most vivid wildlife memories. Make sure to stop by Gamini’s booth where he is selling and signing copies of his brand-new book “Hummingbirds: A Celebration of their Beauty through Art.” This book features paintings of 365 species of hummingbird, each one infused with the signature magic only Gamini can bring to a painting.

Gamini Ratnavira is a self-taught Sri Lankan-American wildlife artist of international renown. Inspired by the magnificant rainforest country he grew up in and wanting to share the beauty and wonder of nature with those around him, he became a professional wildlife artist at the age of 19. He says: “As a Buddhist, respect for all life and nature is ingrained in my life philosophy and is a part of my canvas. I have been fortunate to visit over 55 countries, keeping detailed sketchbooks, taking photos, and creating paintings from these travels.” The president of Sri Lanka collected his work and named him his Chief Advisor on Wildlife and Conservation. Gamini also worked with Britain’s Prince Philip to develop “Let them Live,” an elephant conservation program with the World Wildlife Fund. Gamini and his art have become a much-loved centerpiece at every Sedona Hummingbird Festival since its inception in 2012.

Visit Gamini’s website ⇒

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All of our presentations take place in the handicapped accessible, sloped seating, climate-controlled Sedona Performing Arts Center auditorium, which is also equipped with a large on-stage screen and excellent acoustics. We will offer 14 presentations plus a special dance performance this year. Read on to find out what our speakers will be sharing with you this year!

Each presentation is 45 minutes long, with up to 15 minutes allotted for audience questions afterward.

Tickets: $150 for all three days of presentations (advance sales only); Friday and Saturday, $60 each, Sunday $50

Friday Speakers

July 26th, 2024

Carole Turek, M.D.
Carole Turek, M.D.

Hummingbirds in Trouble: Photographing the Endangered Species

Presented by Carole Turek, M.D.

Intrepid hummingbird photographer and founder of The Hummingbird Spot

4 – 4:45pm
Carole Turek is on a quest to photograph all hummingbird species that exist today. In pursuit of that challenging goal, she has encountered endangered and critically endangered hummingbirds — some have populations numbering fewer than 50 individuals. During this presentation, Carole will thrill and inspire you as she shares the adventures and insights she experienced while seeking and photographing these rare beauties.

Carole first attended the Sedona Hummingbird Festival in 2016, where she saw Juan Bahamon’s presentation on the hummingbirds of Ecuador. Inspired by his talk and her own experiences feeding hummingbirds, Carole soon became determined to find and photograph every hummingbird species that exists today. She has been traveling to many remote places on a quest to do so, starting with the most endangered and difficult-to-find hummingbird species first. ​You can follow her on her YouTube Channel “Hummingbird Spot” and on her website www.hummingbirdspot.com.

​Carole has a BS from Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA (Biology and Chemistry), and an MD from Temple University Medical School in Philadelphia, PA. She has been a practicing anesthesiologist since 1985.

Visit Carole’s website ⇒

Stan Tekiela
Stan Tekiela

Hummingbirds: Marvels of the Bird World

Presented by Stan Tekiela

Naturalist, author, and photographer

2:45 – 3:30pm
Stan Tekiela has made it his life’s mission to share the beauty and science of the natural world with as many people as he can reach. Having authored and illustated more than 200 nature guides, Stan is intimately familiar with the flora and fauna of North America. Among his very favorite subjects is hummingbirds, and in this talk Stan will take a fun and entertaining look inside their unique world. He will talk about how hummingbirds feed, catch insects, mate, migrate and so much more. Stan traveled all over the US to study and capture the many dazzling images of hummingbirds he will share in this presentation.

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela has authored more than 200 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota and as an active professional naturalist for more than 35 years, Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States and has received various national and regional awards for his books and photographs. Also a well-known columnist and radio personality, his syndicated column appears in over 20 newspapers and his wildlife programs are broadcast on a number of Midwest radio stations.

Visit Stan’s website ⇒

Rich Armstrong
Rich Armstrong

Hummingbird Adventures in the Lower 48

Presented by Rich Armstrong, Ph.D.

Master birder

1:30 – 2:15pm
Of the nearly 370 hummingbird species that exist today, fewer than 20 can be found in the U.S. Twenty gorgeous, entertaining, sometimes surprisingly elusive species. Come hear master birder Rich Armstrong recount humorous stories of his adventures pursuing his “Hummingbirds in the U.S.” life list. From Texas to Arizona to the West Coast, from yards to mountains to special places to chases, Rich reports it has been frustrating and exciting to document sightings of 19 1/2 species. How can it be 19 1/2? You’ll have to come hear Rich’s talk to find out!

Rich Armstrong became a serious birder with his wife Nanette 35 years ago when they lived in Texas, and together they birded across North America. Eleven years ago they moved to Arizona, and Rich has since become coordinator of the Sedona Christmas Bird Count, the “birding pal” for the Verde Valley, and coordinator of the North America Migratory Bird Count for Yavapai County. He is the local Audubon Chapter Steward for the Sedona Wetlands Preserve. Affectionately known as the “big mouth of the valley,” he has led over 100 birding field trips at the Wetlands with his spotting scope always in tow. Those who bird with Rich say he definitely deserves the title “fastest scope in the west.” Rich received his PhD in Nuclear Inorganic Chemistry from Stanford University, retired as a Major in the U.S. Army Reserves, and was a chemist for Texaco Chemical for 20 years.

Becky Hardy
Becky Hardy

Monarch Butterflies: Myth, Truths and my Observations

Presented by Becky Hardy

Butterfly expert

11 – 11:45am
Monarch butterflies are probably the most recognized butterfly species in the United States, due mostly to their approximately 3000-mile migration to central Mexico each fall. Each year, as the Monarchs return to Mexico, they bring with them an enduring cultural myth. Aside from this myth, Monarchs are fascinating creatures! Join Becky Hardy to learn more about Monarch butterflies, their behavior and the most incredible insect migration.

Becky Hardy has had a lifelong passion for butterflies, which has led to countless hours of interaction with and observation of these beautiful, complex creatures. Over the years, Becky has observed, researched and reared thousands of butterflies across a variety of species. She has presented to multiple organizations about butterflies, and her presentation at the 2023 Sedona Hummingbird Festival was a crowd favorite. As Northern Arizona Audubon Society’s education chair, Becky shares her enthusiasm and passion for butterflies by facilitating field trips and citizen science events. She has participated in several North American Butterfly Association (NABA) butterfly counts, most recently as the sector leader for Dead Horse Ranch State Park. In 2023, she observed a butterfly species that had never been recorded in the Verde Valley before.

Michael and Kathi Rock
Michael and Kathi Rock

Gardening for Hummingbirds with Salvias

Presented by Michael and Kathi Rock

Hummingbird Garden experts

9:45 – 10:30am
Michael and Kathi Rock have been dedicated hummingbird gardeners for more than 20 years. During that time, they traveled across America to see hummingbirds and hummingbird gardens and to consult with hummingbird experts as they continually developed and improved the garden at their Wisconsin home. In their presentation they will give an overview of hummingbird gardening essentials and talk in-depth about salvias and why these “hidden treasures” can form an outstanding foundation for a hummingbird garden anywhere in the U.S.

Hummingbird gardening has been Michael and Kathi’s passion for more than two decades. When they first started out, they had one hummingbird feeder, a pot of Salvia splendens, and a city yard filled with trees, turf grass, and hummingbird unfriendly shrubbery. That first year it took them until August to see their first hummingbird and after that, they were hooked! Today they have a yard filled with the best and many unusual flowers, as well as up to 20 feeders. Michael and Kathi have been presenting “Gardening for Hummingbirds” programs for about 20 years, and they have been featured in a short film called “A Place In The Garden.” They offer Hummingbird Garden Tours of their Madison, Wisconsin yard every September.

Visit Michael’s and Kathi’s ⇒

Saturday Speakers

July 27th, 2024

Nancy Windheart
Nancy Windheart

Hummingbird Perspectives: What do the Hummingbirds Have to Say?

Presented by Nancy Windheart

Interspecies Communicator

4 – 4:45pm
In this presentation, Nancy Windheart will share what she has learned from hummingbirds in her decades-long work as an interspecies communicator and teacher. She will give a brief overview of interspecies communication and how it can be helpful in understanding the perspectives of other-than-human beings, including hummingbirds. Then she will share some of the unique perspectives of hummingbirds on their lives, their consciousness and awareness, including their perspective on humans and the impacts of climate change on the health of their populations and the Earth.

Nancy Windheart is an internationally recognized animal communicator. She teaches interspecies communication for both lay people and those who wish to practice professionally, and provides animal communication consultations, intuitive and energy healing sessions, and professional mentoring for clients worldwide. Her students have included scientists, trainers, behaviorists, animal rescue professionals, and veterinarians. Nancy’s work has been featured in television, radio, magazine, and online media, and she has written for many digital and print publications. Nancy’s life’s work is to create deeper harmony between species and on our planet through interspecies communion, connection, and communication, and to facilitate physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual healing and growth for both people and animals. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with her animal family of dogs, cats, and chickens.

Visit Nancy’s website ⇒

Eliana Fierro-Calderon
Eliana Fierro-Calderon

Hummingbirds of Columbia: The Jewels of the Crown

Presented by Eliana Fierro-Calderon

International Conservation Project Officer, American Bird Conservancy

2:45 – 3:30pm
Colombia is considered a megadiverse country, ranking first in the world in the number of bird species, with a total of 1,969, including 165 species of hummingbirds. Eliana will talk about how this huge diversity came about, what we know about some of the country’s most endangered hummingbirds, and what is being done to protect them.

Born and raised in Colombia, Eliana Fierro-Calderon has been working with birds for 20 years, focusing on the conservation of threatened and endemic bird species and their habitats. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Geographic Information Systems. Eliana is the author of conservation plans for four endangered bird species in Colombia, as well as many educational materials in Spanish. She has also participated in field research projects in Borneo, Ecuador, and the USA. In her role as International Conservation Project Officer at American Bird Conservancy, Eliana works closely with local partners in Colombia and Venezuela to protect habitat for some of the most endangered species in the Americas, including the Gorgeted Puffleg, the Cundinamarca Antpitta, and the Red Siskin. Eliana enjoys reading, traveling, and birding. In March, she recorded her 1,000th bird species in Colombia.
Stan Tekiela
Stan Tekiela

Secrets of Wildflowers

Presented by Stan Tekiela

Naturalist, author, and photographer

1:30 – 2:15pm
Wildflowers color our lives. Professional naturalist and award-winning photographer Stan Tekiela will present the fascinating world of wildflowers in a way that will deepen your knowledge and appreciation for wildflowers and their role in the lifecycle of so many insects, birds, and mammals.

Naturalist, wildlife photographer and writer Stan Tekiela has authored more than 200 field guides, nature appreciation books and wildlife audio CDs for nearly every state in the nation, presenting many species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, trees, wildflowers and cacti. Holding a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural History from the University of Minnesota and as an active professional naturalist for more than 35 years, Stan studies and photographs wildlife throughout the United States and has received various national and regional awards for his books and photographs. Also a well-known columnist and radio personality, his syndicated column appears in over 20 newspapers and his wildlife programs are broadcast on a number of Midwest radio stations.

Visit Stan’s website ⇒

Maria Hedrick
Maria Hedrick

The Magic of Chasing Hummingbirds for 30 years

Presented by Maria Hedrick

Missouri master naturalist

11 – 11:45am
Maria Hedrick started adventuring to see hummingbirds in the early ’90s, and she has been at it ever since, traveling to nearly every country in Central America, five countries in South America, and the Bahamas and Carribean. She intentionally does not bring a camera, preferring to fully drink in each hummingbird encounter. Now having experienced the thrill of seeing more than 200 species of hummingbird, Maria will talk about her “top 25” hummingbirds, why she is addicted to chasing hummingbirds, her memorable experiences in Cuba, and other adventures along the way.

Maria is passionate about hummingbirds and all nature. She is a Missouri Master Naturalist and a long-time monarch butterfly tagger. She is a scuba diver and loves hiking, including her highest climb to the top of Kilimanjaro. Maria loves to volunteer, play tennis and go on adventures with her family. She has a wonderful supportive husband, two awesome boys and three amazing chihuahuas. She works full-time in technology sales to fund her adventures. Her favorite words are: adventure, iridescence, metamorphosis — and Zunzuncito. Her motto is Carpe Diem!

Lisa Langell

Make it Great: Tips for Improving your Hummingbird Photography

Presented by Lisa Langell

Master photographer and photography instructor

9:45 – 10:30am
In this talk, Lisa Langell will share her insights on how to take a great hummingbird photo. Sounds simple, and many of the concepts are tried and true. But hummingbird photography is particularly challenging because the subjects are so tiny and fast-moving, and they certainly have no interest in making things easier for a photographer. Whether you are a beginner or advanced photographer, you will leave this talk with inspiration and new ideas for taking your imagery to the next level.

Lisa loves creating nature photography and art that is inspired by her background in psychology and design. When Lisa isn’t having fun making photographs, she’s thriving on teaching photography. Several times per year she offers Hummingbird Photography workshops in Southeastern Arizona, and they sell out in minutes. Her humility and passion for teaching and photography shines through in how she provides memorable, fun, and educational experiences that enrich, invigorate and expand photographers’ minds in wonderful ways.

Visit Lisa’s website ⇒

Sedona Dance Academy
Sedona Dance Academy

Dance of the Hummingbirds

Presented by Sedona Dance Academy

9:30 -9:45am
We open Saturday’s presentations with the gift of a youth performance dedicated to hummingbirds. Members of the Sedona Dance Academy will perform “Dance of the Hummingbirds.” This beautiful dance represents the heart and all its flurry as it goes through the day, like a hummingbird. What a great way to start the day!

More than a dance class, Sedona Dance Academy is an immersive community fostering friendship, artistry, athleticism, and soul in the Verde Valley area.

Visit the Sedona Dance Academy’s website ⇒

Sunday Speakers

July 28th, 2024

Beth Kingsley Hawkins
Beth Kingsley Hawkins

Love’s Messengers: Hummingbirds up Close

Presented by Beth Kingsley Hawkins, M.A.

Spiritual nature photographer, author, and Hummingbird Gallery owner

2:45 – 3:30pm
David Attenborough speaks of hummingbirds as the messengers of plants, carrying the pollen from flower to flower to help them thrive. Beth Kingsley Hawkins will address, in word and image, how they can also be messengers for us — often coming at just the right moment in our lives to bring us meaning, helping us to thrive. She will share images of some special hummingbird nests she has photographed and also tell us of some surprising new information on hummingbird behavior. In addition, she will speak to the mystical, mythical, spiritual dimension, sharing amazing stories of how hummingbirds can connect us to our loved ones in Spirit to help us understand that love never dies.

Following the passing in 2020 of her late husband Ross Hawkins, who founded the International Hummingbird Society in 1996, Beth served as Executive Director of the Society for 3 years. Since 2006 she has also operated her for-profit Sedona Hummingbird Gallery, which features her photography and everything hummingbird. Hummingbirds have been a source of inspiration for Beth who has traveled extensively to experience and photograph them, and to give talks and share stories about them. She is the author of two books, Anna’s in the Snow and Hummy, the Magnificent: How a Hummingbird Learned to Read. She is now completing her third book, Love’s Messengers, Hummingbird Stories of Hope and Healing, designed around her definition of a hummingbird.

Beth has a master’s degree in music and music therapy from the Orff Institute at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. She has worked as a music therapist in a variety of settings, work she continues in private practice. She is also a Reiki master and offers Personal Totem Pole work, identifying the animal allies in each of the chakras of the body.

Steve Bouricius
Steve Bouricius

10 Years On: Insights from Banding at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival

Presented by Steve Bouricius

Master bander

1:30 – 2:15pm
After banding hundreds of hummingbirds of seven species (and one hybrid) over the 10 Sedona Hummingbird Festivals, Steve Bouricius will share what he and his team have learned about Sedona’s hummingbirds — and what questions they continue to pursue.

Steve Bouricius and his wife Deb are engaged in several multi-faceted studies of hummingbirds including a 15 year study of Black-chinned Hummingbirds nesting in their apple orchard. Steve is a master bird bander with 23 years of experience banding hummingbirds and dippers. He has led a team of hummingbird banders at the Sedona Hummingbird Festival since 2012.

In 2001, Steve and Deb were first in the nation to earn hummingbird bander certification by the North American Banding Council. They later certified as hummingbird banding trainers. They are licensed by the U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory, Colorado Parks & Wildlife, and Arizona Game and Fish Department.

Steve has conducted field trips, seminars, presentations and banding demonstrations for thousands of people over the years. He is a past president of the Colorado Field Ornithologists and served on its board of directors for nine years.

Ethan Temeles
Ethan Temeles

Effect of Hurricane Maria on Pollination and Natural Selection in a Specialized Hummingbird-Plant Pollination System in the Eastern Caribbean

Presented by Ethan Temeles, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology and Environmental Studies, Amherst College

11 – 11:45am
The Purple-throated Carib is a spectacular hummingbird native to the mountain rainforests and cloud forests of the Lesser Antilles. It is one of the largest hummingbirds in the world and is unusual for its extreme sexual dimorphism: although sexes are similar in plumage, males are 25% larger than females yet females have bills that are 20% longer and 40% more curved than bills of males. Here I review 20 years of research on the biology of these birds and their highly specialized relationship to two native plants that serve as their primary food source and the basis for their mating system. I then discuss the impacts of Hurricane Maria, a category 5 hurricane with 165 mph winds, that struck the island of Dominica on 19 September 2017, on the biology of these birds and their potential for recovery.

Ethan Temeles has taught at Amherst for over twenty years. His research has been published in Science and the Proceedings of the Royal Society, and he has been profiled in The Associated Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, Smithsonian Magazine, and The Encyclopedia Britannica Book of the Year(2004, 2001) and is featured in the Partners in Evolution exhibit in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and in PBS-Nature “Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air.” With his collaborators and students, he has studied extensively the roles of feeding ecology and mating behavior in relation to the bill morphology and body size of the Purple-throated Carib Hummingbird, native to the mountainous islands of the Lesser Antilles. His results have added a new dimension to our understanding of how birds can evolve based on their feeding behavior.

Gamini Ratnavira
Gamini Ratnavira

Illustrated Stories from a Lifetime of Observing and Painting Wildlife

Presented by Gamini Ratnavira

Renowned wildlife artist

9:45 – 10:30am
This talk is a special not-to-be-missed treat from artist Gamini Ratnavira. It grew out of his presentation at the 2023 Sedona Hummingbird Festival: Gamini painted a hummingbird live onstage while casually sharing spellbinding stories of wildlife he has encountered over the course of his life. Now at our request, Gamini has created this talk, complete with his own illustrations, about some of his most vivid wildlife memories. Make sure to stop by Gamini’s booth where he is selling and signing copies of his brand-new book “Hummingbirds: A Celebration of their Beauty through Art.” This book features paintings of 365 species of hummingbird, each one infused with the signature magic only Gamini can bring to a painting.

Gamini Ratnavira is a self-taught Sri Lankan-American wildlife artist of international renown. Inspired by the magnificant rainforest country he grew up in and wanting to share the beauty and wonder of nature with those around him, he became a professional wildlife artist at the age of 19. He says: “As a Buddhist, respect for all life and nature is ingrained in my life philosophy and is a part of my canvas. I have been fortunate to visit over 55 countries, keeping detailed sketchbooks, taking photos, and creating paintings from these travels.” The president of Sri Lanka collected his work and named him his Chief Advisor on Wildlife and Conservation. Gamini also worked with Britain’s Prince Philip to develop “Let them Live,” an elephant conservation program with the World Wildlife Fund. Gamini and his art have become a much-loved centerpiece at every Sedona Hummingbird Festival since its inception in 2012.

Visit Gamini’s website ⇒

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