Annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival Set for Aug. 12, 2023

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
[email protected]
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

Last item for navigation
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share via Email

Annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival Set for Aug. 12, 2023

Posted: 07/28/2023
The saying, “the early bird gets the worm,” is never more true than when bird watching, so Ijams Nature Center’s 13th annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival: A Celebration of Wings is starting 30 minutes earlier on Saturday, Aug. 12, 2023. 
This year’s festival is from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The earlier start will give more attendees a better opportunity to see ruby-throated hummingbirds during the event’s popular bird banding demonstrations. 
“The best time to go bird watching is very early in the morning or at dusk,” Ijams Education Director Jennie McGuigan said. “The highlight of this outdoor educational festival is a behind-the-scenes look at how scientists capture birds, how they are banded, and why banding is important. Adding that extra time slot will give more people access to this one-of-a-kind experience.”
Certified master bander Mark Armstrong will weigh, measure, band, and talk about the birds before allowing one person in each group to release the bird.
Bird banding demonstrations are offered in 30-minute appointments starting at 6:30 a.m.; the last appointment is 12:30 p.m. Your best chance to see a ruby-throated hummingbird being banded is during the earlier appointments.
The festival also features meet-and-greets with birds of prey and other Ijams animal ambassadors, naturalist-guided “Nature Nerd” walks, educational booths and activities for all ages, dipnetting, and more.
Tickets should be purchased in advance by choosing a 30-minute appointment. Tickets are $15 for adults (current Ijams members receive a $5 discount) and $8 for children ages 2-12. Children under 2 are free. If appointments are still available on the day of the festival, tickets will be sold at the event entrance at the Ijams Homesite.
The celebration also includes a Bird Nerd Speaker Series presented by naturalists Stephen Lyn Bales, Clare Dattilo, and Nick Smith. Tickets for each talk are $15 per person.

Programs include:

The Birds of Seven Islands: A Walk & Talk with Clare Dattilo: Aug. 2, 6-8 p.m.
Secrets of Backyard Birds with Stephen Lyn Bales: Aug. 4, 6-8 p.m.
The Wonders of Hummingbirds with Stephen Lyn Bales: Aug. 5, 10 am.-12 p.m.
The Birds and the…Seeds? with Nick Smith: Aug. 9, 7-8:30 a.m.
Owl-Ology with Stephen Lyn Bales: Aug. 10, 6-8 p.m.
Nature Journaling: Capturing Birds Using Pencil & Paper with Clare Dattilo: Aug. 11, 9-11 a.m.

For more information or to purchase tickets for the festival or speaker series, visit
The 13th annual Ijams Hummingbird Festival: A Celebration of Wings is sponsored by Accenture, HomeTrust Bank, Knox Brew Tours, Stanley’s Greenhouse, and Tennessee Wildlife Federation.
Ijams Nature Center is a nonprofit, 318-acre educational nature center for all ages, abilities and walks of life. Ijams’ mission is to encourage stewardship of the natural world by providing an urban greenspace for people to learn about and enjoy the outdoors through engaging experiences. Located just three miles from downtown Knoxville, Ijams features 14 miles of hiking and mixed-use trails, a public access river dock, swimming, boating, biking, and more. The center offers hundreds of educational programs annually for all ages. The Ijams grounds and trails are open every day from 8 a.m. until dusk. The Visitor Center is open daily Monday through Friday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, visit