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Kirkindall brings ‘Magical World of Hummingbirds’ to library

Thousands of hummingbirds flock to Sandy and Melissa Kirkindall's home each year. (CONTRIBUTED)
Thousands of hummingbirds flock to Sandy and Melissa Kirkindall’s home each year. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – One of nature’s most beautiful and amazing animals will be the focus for “The Magical World of Hummingbirds” at Madison Public Library.

Master gardener Melissa Kirkindall will lead the workshop on April 7 at 3 p.m. with facts about gathering data for hummingbirds, migration, breeding and landscaping.

This class is free and open to all. Registration is not required.

Melissa and former Madison Mayor Sandy Kirkindall have hundreds, probably thousands, of hummingbirds visit their home and feed, fight and flutter for hours. “I’ve worked at this for nearly 30 years,” she said. The key is “persistence,” along with plants they like and numerous feeders.

“If your neighbors are also gardeners, this helps,” she said.

Melissa Kirkindall (CONTRIBUTED)
Melissa Kirkindall (CONTRIBUTED)

Kirkindall said her first PowerPoint presentation will show “their life, how unusual they are and how we study hummingbirds (bird banding).” A frequent question is “How can I keep my hummingbirds from fighting?” Kirkindall’s answer is, “You can’t.”

Next, she will discuss plants with nectar that attract hummingbirds, including red buckeye, coral honeysuckle, all salvias, bee balm and golden shrimp plant. She will use a picture of a new house in a former cotton field and create an imaginary landscape conducive for the birds.

For North Alabama, ruby-throated hummingbirds are most common and arrive in late March to early April. “They begin their migration back to Central America in mid- to late summer. Migration peaks in mid-September and slows through October. Ruby-throateds are usually gone by Nov. 1,” Kirkindall said.

In 1991, 2005 and 2006, the Kirkindalls had Rufous Hummingbirds winter in their backyard. In January 2010, an adult male Anna’s Hummingbird visited briefly.

Homeowners should set up feeders for easy viewing while relaxing. “The sugar water solution should be fresh and feeders free of mold,” she said.

A member of Madison Garden Club, Kirkindall encourages residents to attend the club’s annual plant sale on April 13 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 100 Bluebell Drive.

For more information, call 256-461-0046 or email to rhooper@hmcpl.org.

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