UC Santa Cruz Arboretum holds annual Hummingbird Days March 7-8

Tiny birds make a big impression with aerial acrobatics at this family-oriented event

Anna's hummingbird

An Anna's hummingbird feeds from Grevillea flowers at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum. (Photo by Lee Jaffee)

Allen's hummingbird

An Allen's hummingbird perches above Erica flowers at the Arboretum. (Photo by Lee Jaffee)

The UC Santa Cruz Arboretum celebrates the annual return of the Allen's hummingbird during Hummingbird Days, held this year on Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8. Admission to the Arboretum for Hummingbird Days is free for Arboretum members, UCSC students, and children under 17, and $10 for all others.

The migratory Allen's hummingbird (Audubon California's 2014 Bird of the Year) lives exclusively along the Pacific Coast, from Mexico to Oregon, and is common in the Arboretum from February to June. Anna's hummingbirds are common year-round at the Arboretum, and rufous hummingbirds can also be seen in the gardens.

Visitors to the Arboretum during Hummingbird Days can participate in a variety of hummingbird-related activities, including:

  • Guided tours along the Hummingbird Trail
  • Classes on photographing hummingbirds
  • Presentations on the hummingbirds of Ecuador by award-winning photographer Dan Suzio
  • Crafts and interactive activities for kids
  • Unique souvenirs, plants, books, birdfeeders, gifts, and more for sale

A detailed schedule of events and activities is available online at arboretum.ucsc.edu/events/hummingbird-days.

New this year

A bird illustration workshop will be taught this year by Sophie Webb, an accomplished ornithologist, field biologist, photographer, and illustrator. Webb is coauthor and illustrator of A ​Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, as well as several children's books. This class is designed for all levels of skill and all levels of interest, from the person who wants to learn a bit more about drawing birds for field notes to the person who wants to refine their skills at bird illustration. More information about the bird illustration workshop, including class hours and registration, is available online at arboretum.ucsc.edu/events/hummingbird-days/bird-illustration-workshop/.

Norrie's Gift and Garden Shop, open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature event souvenirs, books, unique gifts, and plants that attract hummingbirds, as well as a wide array of drought-tolerant plants, gardening guides, jewelry, scarves, and home items. Sponsors for Hummingbird Days include Jane McKenzie, financial advisor, Protected Investors of America, and Bailey Properties.

The UCSC Arboretum is a research and teaching facility committed to plant conservation and serves both the campus and the public. Its rich and diverse collection, containing representatives of more than 300 plant families, provides a broad survey of the plant kingdom. For more information, see the Arboretum web site at arboretum.ucsc.edu.