Sedona Hummingbird Festival

The Most Beautiful Place in America to See Hummingbirds


Every year, large numbers of southbound migrating hummingbirds pass through Sedona on their way to wintering grounds in southern Mexico, with some coming from as far away as southern Alaska. The influx raises the local hummingbird population hundreds of percent and increases the number of hummingbird species from 2 to 5 or even 6. Some local residents report having seen 500-2,000 hummingbirds every day. This is based on nectar consumption, as there are far too many of them to count manually!

Photo by Beth Kingsley Hawkins

Photo by Beth Kingsley Hawkins


Hummingbird being hand-fed by Sabine Pool.  Photo by Beth Kingsley Hawkins.

Hummingbird being hand-fed by Sabine Pool. Photo by Beth Kingsley Hawkins.



Hummingbird feeding frenzy.  Photo by Neal Williams

Hummingbird feeding frenzy. Photo by Neal Williams

Most hummingbirds of the U.S. and Canada migrate south in fall to spend winter in Mexico or Central America. A few species are year-round residents of California and far southern desert regions of the USA. Among these are Anna’s hummingbird, a common resident from southern Arizona and inland California, and buff-bellied hummingbird, an uncommon resident in subtropical woodlands of southern Texas east through the Gulf coast to the Atlantic coast of Florida. Ruby-throated hummingbirds migrate from as far north as Ontario, Canada in summer, returning to Mexico, South America, southern Texas, and Florida to winter.

The Annual Sedona Hummingbird Festival, timed to this migration, invites residents and visitors alike to the Sedona Performing Arts Center and the greater Sedona area at the end of each summer season for three enchanting days of hummingbird presentations, banding demonstrations, sunrise breakfasts with the hummingbirds, shopping at the Hummingbird Marketplace, a hummingbird art exhibit, as well as hummingbird garden tours, birding trips, and more.

There are several free events where attendees can come to experience hummingbirds first hand by visiting several identified “hummingbird hotspots” where there are large numbers of hummers. They can also watch individual birds be “banded” with unique identifying anklets for on-going scientific research.

People are encouraged to sign up early for the “Sunrise Hummingbird Breakfasts,” enjoying the wonder of watching hummingbirds having their breakfast in a beautiful garden setting designed for the hummers. This is one of the festival’s more popular events and requires a ticket purchase and advanced reservations.

The core platform of this event is the Symposium which presents the opportunity for attendees to learn about all things hummingbird. Held at the beautiful Sedona Performing Arts Center, there are be three days of thought provoking presentations and discussions by world recognized hummingbird and conservation experts on a variety of topics: how they are cared for in aviaries, how to attract them, how to garden for them, and efforts to protect endangered hummingbirds.

Learning extends to gardens, first with hummingbird presentations but also with self-guided Garden Tours to private gardens in the greater Sedona area.

Of course, attendees come to experience Sedona. No wonder the festival’s tagline is “The Most Beautiful Place in America to See Hummingbirds.” Located at 4,500 feet, Sedona largely escapes the extreme temperatures of southern Arizona. And its “red rock” beauty is known around the world.

Finally, attendees come to meet other hummingbird lovers and create friendships that can last a lifetime.

The Festival is sponsored by the International Hummingbird Society, a Sedona-based nonprofit education and conservation organization formed in 1996. The purpose of the festival is to promote the understanding of hummingbirds and to raise funds to protect some of the endangered hummingbird species.

For more information, call the Hummingbird Society at 1-800-529-3699 or (928) 284-2251 or get full event information at The Sedona Performing Arts Center is located at 995 Upper Red Rock Loop Road, Sedona, AZ.

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