Make us your home page

Hummingbird Festival set for Pioneer Florida Museum

There's something intriguing about the hummingbird. Perhaps it's the size of the miniature flier that can weigh as little as a Lincoln penny. Maybe it's the bird's seemingly frantic flight, fueled by a voracious appetite and accented by humming wings that can beat 200 times per second during courtship flights. Or perhaps it's the impressive fortitude that carries some migrating species on journeys from Florida to Canada, across the Gulf of Mexico or from Tallahassee to Alaska, where the orange-colored Rufous Hummingbird regularly breeds during milder seasons.

People are captivated by hummingbirds for all sorts of reasons, said expert birder Andy Wraithmell, who works as an information specialist for the Great Florida Birding and Wildlife Trail.

"They are really quite beautiful," he said. "I think a lot of people like them because they are so unique and they seem to be kind of inquisitive."

And there's a brashness about the tiny birds that can be territorial in a big way.

"I often say if hummingbirds were the size of eagles we'd be in trouble. I've seen them get into it. They have dogfights. They'll chase other birds and chase each other," Wraithmell said, adding that hummingbirds can be none too shy when it comes to demanding a handout from humans. "I wish I had a dollar for each person who has told me that the hummingbirds come right up to their window when the feeder needs changing."

Avid birder Bev Hansen has been watching the patterns of transient and nesting species for close to 27 years now, ever since she and her husband, Al, settled in Spring Hill and joined the Hernando Audubon Society as a way to meet new people.

The birds ended up being a delightful study.

"All of the sudden you have this burst of color in front of you, then just as suddenly, it's gone," she said, adding that, because of their high metabolism, hummingbirds eat about six times every hour.

Hansen, who volunteers regularly at Chinsegut Conservation Center in Brooksville, will share her expansive knowledge about the habits of these tiny fliers at the Hummingbird Festival held on Saturday at the Pioneer Florida Museum in Dade City.

The Hummingbird Festival is the last gala of the museum's special event season and is expected to bring some 300 to 600 visitors to hear local speakers talk about hummingbirds, butterflies, native plants or learn about the days of old while touring the museum grounds.

Other activities held throughout the day include "Sacred Harp Singing" in the museum's church and entertainment by local bluegrass musicians the Barking Dogs. Children will have the opportunity to build a bluebird box, and the gift shop will be stocked with hummingbird and garden gifts. There also will be arts and crafters, old-time craft demonstrations and Florida native plant sales.

Michele Miller can be reached at

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: Bev Hansen will speak at the Hummingbird Festival on Saturday at the Pioneer Florida Museum. Her name was misspelled in the original version of this article.

>>if you go

Hummingbird Festival

When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Pioneer Florida Museum, 15602 Pioneer Museum Road, Dade City. (352) 567-0328

Cost: Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $4 for students. Children under 5 are free.

Other: No coolers or pets, although service animals are welcome. The museum offers free parking and handicap accessibility.

For information: Go to

Hummingbird Festival set for Pioneer Florida Museum 05/14/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10:26am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 10 things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 24


    Lalah Hathaway: A Grammy Award-winning jazz and soul singer. 8 p.m., Tampa Theatre, 711 Franklin St., Tampa. $34.50-$69.50. (813) 274-8982.

    HOUSTON, TX - FEBRUARY 03:  Recording artist Lalah Hathaway performs onstage during the BET Presents Super Bowl Gospel Celebration at Lakewood Church on February 3, 2017 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Marcus Ingram/Getty Images for BET)
  2. How to make a Strawberry Banana Smoothie


    Don't enjoy breakfast but need to get something in your stomach? Cranky around 3 p.m. and need a jolt of energy? Have trouble getting your daily recommended fruit servings? This smoothie is the cure for all of that and more. It's become my morning go-to. The secret ingredient here is kefir, a probiotic product that's …

    Strawberry Banana Smoothie. Photo by Michelle Stark, Times food editor.
  3. Hernando Events for Aug. 25-31


    25 Friday

    Free Zika training: Presented by the Hernando Computer Club, the training is for those who wish to assist in the effort to find a cure for the Zika virus. Club members are volunteers for World Community Grid and are donating their devices' spare computing power to help scientists find a …

  4. Robert Pattinson is better than 'Twilight.' 'Good Time' proves it




    Don't judge actors by the books they cover on screen. It appears truer with each performance that two of our finest got their starts with the Twilight franchise.

    Robert Pattinson hooks viewers in Good Time, an inventive crime story.
  5. In 'George and Ruth,' letters unearth revolution and romance amid Spanish Civil War


    In 1936, Spanish nationalists led by Gen. Francisco Franco staged a successful revolt against a democratically elected leftist government, beginning the Spanish Civil War. Para-military socialist and communist forces of the International Brigades rallied to help the government in a losing cause. Among them was …

    The versatile Whitney James headlines Whitney James: Guitar Hero With Dan Heck and LaRue Nickelson on Saturday, Aug. 26, at the Palladium in St. Petersburg.