Watch the ‘Hummingbird Whisperer’ do her thing for science in Cobb

5:12 p.m Tuesday, Aug. 22, 2017 Atlanta Events
Jonathan Phillips
Hugh Granden (left) helps release a hummingbird back into the wild with the help of Julia Elliott as Ricardo Irizarry watches during the Hummingbird Banding Festival at the Smith Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015.

Here are some interesting hummingbird facts:

Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards, they weigh less than a nickel on average, they have no sense of smell and you can see the “Hummingbird Whiserper” on Sept. 9 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.

That’s when Kennesaw’s Smith-Gilbert Gardens will have hummingbird expert Julia Elliott there putting bands on the delicate birds.

Children will be able to make hummingbird craft projects, participate in a scavenger hunt and play yard games. 

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Elliott will use three trainer traps set in the perennial border portion of the gardens to capture the ruby-throated hummingbirds that live in that area, and then she’ll put bands on the birds.

Banding helps scientists record valuable data for research and trend analysis. But barely anyone is allowed to band.

Elliott is one of the nearly 150 people in the United States and Canada with the certification to band hummingbirds, the city said.

The United States Geological Survey’s Bird Banding Laboratory explains why: “Unlike other bird bands, hummingbird bands must be cut to the appropriate sizes and formed by the bander, requiring knowledge, skills and equipment not required of other bird banders.”

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Elliott — along with another certified hummingbird bander — run Bird Watcher Supply Company, which is an outdoor bird supply store with five metro Atlanta locations, according to the company’s website.

This is the event’s seventh year at the gardens, 2382 Pine Mountain Road.

Pre-sale tickets cost $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children ages 6-12. All tickets are $3 more the day of the event. Tickets for children younger than 6 are free.

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