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Anna’ hummingbird. Photo by Robert McMorran, USFWS.

Hummingbirds create buzz on Outer Banks

Hummingbird researcher Susan Campbell will return to the Outer Banks of North Carolina during Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival in November 2009 to once again attempt to catch and band the smallest of birds.

Campbell, a licensed bander will lead two two-hour programs during the festival, both aimed at demonstrating techniques for capturing and banding hummingbirds. The program also will provide useful tips on attracting hummingbirds.

Once thought to migrate out of the area in late summer, it is now known that the smallest of all migratory birds can often be found winter-long along the Outer Banks. And a number of species of the iridescent bird have been identified in the area.

After meeting at the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island, the program group will visit a Manteo residence that hosts numerous hummingbirds throughout the year.

A resident of Southern Pines, Campbell has been a birder for almost 30 years – both as an occupation and as a hobby. One of the many memorable birding experiences she has had over the years includes monitoring the Scissor-tailed Flycatchers while they were nesting at Hobby Field in Southern Pines during the summers of 2006 and 2007. The birds were out of their normal range and were not supposed to be nesting that far to the east.

Campbell said that one of the most common misconception about birders is that they only have one hobby – birding. “Usually it fits in with other outdoor pursuits,” said Campbell. “I enjoy anything outdoors: gardening, hiking, kayaking and fishing.”

The number of participants for Campbells programs is limited so early registration is suggested.

But Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival isn’t just for birding enthusiasts. The more than 80 scheduled programs include paddling, natural history, photography and even opportunities to learn more about the rich history of the area.

This festival is traditionally set during the shoulder season when rates are lower for accommodations, traffic is light and the weather is mild.

And due to popular demand, there are an increased number of photography programs to be taught by professionals. Classes have been designed for both the skilled and not-so-practiced, as well as some programs for children and/or families.

To learn more about the Wings Over Water Wildlife Festival call 252-216-9464 or go to wingsoverwater.org.

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