It is humming bird time in Texas! In the upcoming weeks you should be spotting a tiny bird zipping from flower to flower.
Tiny? Yes, tiny. Hummingbirds are the smallest bird in size. Ranging from the 2ish-inch Bee Hummingbird of Cuba to the 8.5-inch Giant Hummingbird of South America. Even though they are small in size, their "family" is huge; with approximately 340 species recorded. Of those species, you are more likely to white-eared, green-breasted mangoes, blue-throated and Allen's broad-billed in the greater Houston area. That doesn't mean you won't see a few others!
Want to see them more often? Make a hummingbird friendly backyard. Plan a variety of summer blooms such as Turk's Cap or Salvia and set up feeders containing sugar water [see recipe below.] Hummingbirds are fierce competitors so if you spot multiples, then add more feeders. Once they find a food source, they will come back annually and maybe even all year long!
Hummers sugar water
Registration will open to outside institutions on September 26, 2016 at www.houstonzoo.org/hose2habitat.
GHCAAZK is proud to partner with Hose2Habitat to host an enrichment workshop at the Houston Zoo this year in November.
What is Hose2Habitat?
Hose2Habitat, headquartered in Maryland, is the only nonprofit organization in the world whose mission is to provide and enhance habitat enrichment for animals in zoos, sanctuaries, and wildlife rehabilitation centers through the donation of recycled and other materials, workshops for keepers, and other programs and projects. They are 100% volunteer run and all materials and services are free to zoos, sanctuaries, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and their staff. WOW!
How we got started.
GHCAAZK's Katie Buckley-Jones is the 2016 Professional Development Chair. She brought the idea to the board and, of course, we all said YES!
Easy enough, right?
GHCAAZK hosts many local events that help save animals in the wild both locally and globally.
We partnered with Whole Foods, Freetail Brewery and Bat Conservation International to host our inaugural Brews (& Bingo) for Bats event Friday, July 8, 2016 with proceeds going to Bat Conservation International to help save bats in the wild.
We sold Brews for Bats pint glass, took donations for bingo cards and Whole Foods had Freetail beer on tap. As always, when planning any event, we were nervous that it wouldn't be as successful as we hoped it would be. Well, the event surpassed all our expectations!
On behalf of the National Zoo Keeper Week Task Force...
As the need to protect and preserve wildlife and their vanishing habitats continues to increase, the animal care professional’s role as educators and conservation ambassadors has become essential. Zoo and aquarium professionals care for hundreds of species, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates.
Three hundred and sixty five days a year, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, in all weather (from hurricanes, to blizzards, to heat waves, and everything in between), keepers have to be ready for anything. They are involved in captive animals’ lives and welfare from birth to death and every moment in between, and often create life long bonds. A keeper’s day can include an array of tasks including cleaning, food preparation and feed out, medical treatment, training, enrichment, landscaping, exhibit design, animal introductions, public outreach and education, and much MUCH more.