Cook’s Lake Hummingbird Workshop
by Patricia Duke
Bright green leaf flies from my hand to the sky. No! It is a hummingbird!
Poetry can be defined as the maximum expression using the most economic of means. The Northeast Arkansas Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists came to understand the biology of that expression at a hummingbird workshop held at Cook’s Lake on Saturday, August 23rd.
The hummingbird is among the smallest of birds, yet the Ruby-throated crosses the Gulf of Mexico migrating from Ontario, Canada, to Central America and back again. It’s brain is the size of a BB yet its flight abilities are unmatched among birds and they approach us and even enter into relationships with us.
Because of their extremely high metabolic demands and need for constant feeding, they are never more than hours away from starving to death. Yet, they have existed on this planet for more than 30 millions years. Its nest is the size of a walnut, yet two broods a year in two different nests are raised each year.
Tana Beasley, the only person in the state certified to band hummingbirds, conducted a workshop that included a lecture, video, and hummingbird banding demonstration. The highlight was her allowing each participant to release a hummer after banding. That experience inspired the haiku written above that, hopefully, captures the emotional experience of holding one of nature’s most exquisite creatures and letting it go free.
For more information about the Northeast Chapter of the Arkansas Master Naturalists, contact Patricia Duke at 870-238-5566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.