All Hail the Hummingbird

Wye Marsh hosts the Ontario Hummingbird Festival
  • Jun 30, 2013
  • 293 words
  • 2 minutes
Expand Image
Expand Image

There are some 330 hummingbird species in the world, but across much of south-central and eastern Canada, we see just one. Each spring and summer, the ruby-throated hummingbird, as if through some rare serendipity, arrives in our backyards and at our cottages after a mammoth migration from its Central American wintering grounds. One of the tiniest warm-blooded animals, the hummer must fuel a metabolism that runs at 40 degrees C, a heart that pumps up to 1,260 beats per minute and wings that whirr 50 and 200 times a second. To do so, this little bird eats half its weight each day, whizzing around from plant to plant at speeds that would break your city’s speed limit.

On the weekend of July 12-14, you can learn more about this efficient little flying machine at the Ontario Hummingbird Festival. The festival is hosted by the Wye Marsh, a not-for-profit year-round environmental awareness facility located on roughly 1,215 hectares of wetlands, fen and forest in Midland, Ont., near Georgian Bay. With canoe/kayak routes, trails, an observation tower and boardwalks, the facility is built to bring visitors and nature together. There’s even a residential facility for those who want to plan an overnight visit.

Expand Image

The festival features bird-banding workshops and tutorials with hummer expert Bob Sargent of the Hummer/Bird Study Group, who also offers guidance on how to attract hummingbirds to your garden. Workshops on photography, birding with children, creating a children’s hummingbird planter as well as kids’ crafts and activities, guided tours and nature walks are also on the agenda. Weekend passes are $25, and workshops are an additional $45. Come out and support one of nature’s smallest wonders.

For more information, visit:


Related Content


A dozen travel-related New Year’s resolutions from Canadian Geographic

  • 1042 words
  • 5 minutes
World traveller Michael Palin shares snaps with locals at the Demini airstrip while working on his latest project, Brazil.

People & Culture

Travels with Michael Palin

An exclusive Q&A with British explorer, comedian and actor Michael Palin

  • 2036 words
  • 9 minutes


Hummingbirds continue to diversify and adapt to different ecological niches

  • 477 words
  • 2 minutes


A writer’s guide to travelling

Travel writer Meghan J. Ward gives her best tools to help you gain context and a deeper understanding of the places you visit

  • 1402 words
  • 6 minutes