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(Holly Springs, MS) An annual event is expected to bring hundreds to Holly Springs, Mississippi this weekend.  

It’s not just people who will invade the town, but hummingbirds.

They’ll all be flocking to the Hummingbird Migration Festival which offers a rare opportunity to watch one of natures most fascinating creatures,

“It’s hard for us to think like birds. They make a living doing stuff the right way every time.”

Bob Sargent is what’s called a master “bird bander”.

For three days, he and his staff will have their hands full banding the hundreds of hummingbirds on their annual stop over in Strawberry Plains Audubon Center,

“An exclusively numbered band. And by the way those bands, it takes 5500 of those bands to way one ounce. So they’re quite small.”

This serene countryside has been re-visited by hummingbirds ever since it was donated to the Audubon Society in 1998.

Sargent says the small birds come back because Strawberry Plains is on their migratory route as they head south for the winter, “Even though these birds may be coming to us from as far away as Canada. They will come to this site every year. It’s just part of their routine.”

Sargent has a healthy respect for the small creatures which he says arem’t as innocent as we would think, “They’re hateful, ornery, and aggressive. And we love that in these birds, because they’re so small.”

Sugar water isn’t the only thing hummingbirds like.

They eat small insects like mosquitoes and spiders.

Andrea Schuhmann, Director of Outreach and Education at Strawberry Plains, says if you’re planning on doing some hummingbird watching you need to remember a few important things, “I recommend just staying quietly at a distance and watching them. And even if you spook them they’ll initially fly away, but usually the food draw is so strong that they’ll come right back.”

The Hummingbird Migration Festival starts Friday and goes through Sunday.

Don’t worry, the extreme heat and drought didn’t impact the hummingbirds or their visit to Holly Springs.