NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Hummingbirds make their way through Tennessee each year during migration between July and September.
We are getting close to the peak of migration season from the end of August to early September, which means the Fall Songbird Migration Banding is going on at Warner Parks.
Laura Cook, the Bird Research Coordinator at Warner Parks, oversees this project that has been going on for 23 years.
This research project is a federally licensed banding event that puts a small metal band on their leg with a unique number to find out more about their movement, longevity, migration, and population trends. You can join the fun each Wednesday until the end of September from 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. They also host Saturday morning banding sessions every so often from 8 – 10 a.m.
One of the most important things for hummingbirds this time of year is storing fat. This is because they are about to make their way south and need extra food for travelling. This is their more laid-back route, because in the spring they are rushing to make it to their breeding area so much so that many travel over the Gulf of Mexico, which is an 18-hour journey for these tiny birds. The extra fat they store will help them make it to their destination.
If you are wanting to attract some of these birds to your own backyard before they disappear by the winter, Cook has some tips.
“Put feeders out. Make sure they’re clean with no dye, and then the other thing is that you have native plants, because in addition to eating nectar, what they love are bugs, and so if you have native plants you’ll have more insects, so that also means not using herbicide or pesticides in your yard,” Cook said.
The biggest event that they have coming up in September is the Hummingbird Celebration. Cook said this will be family fun event with a food truck, hummingbird education, and face painting. To find out more upcoming events at Warner Parks, click here.