CASSCOE, Ark. — This week’s Discover Arkansas took the team to Casscoe, Arkansas which is 20 miles southeast of Stuttgart. Casscoe is the home to the Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake.
The center serves as an education facility that hosts a wide range of activities from birding to hiking and even scouting and teacher programs!
Adam and Mariel arrived at the center to learn all about the ruby-throated hummingbird! It is hummingbird season after all.
Tana Beasley is the center director and she knows all about the birds and studies the migration pattern of the tiny fliers.
Small tags are placed on the birds to see if they return to Cook’s Lake year after year. The team learned that there is about a 40 percent return rate!
The hummingbirds migrate from Mexico all the way to Canada. Arkansas is one of the stops along the way.
Some flights across the Gulf can be 15-18 hours long. That's surprisingly long, considering the birds feed every fifteen minutes.
The ruby-throated hummingbird’s diet consists of nectar mimicked by feeders with a water/sugar mix and bugs for protein. This allows them to add layers of fat for energy for their long trip!
The birds are about 3 inches from tip to tail. Males have the signature ruby-red throat and weigh about a penny. Females do not show the red feathers (it is better camouflage) and weight about the same as a nickel.
Each bird can have more than 800 feathers on their little bodies not including the chest. This is so that the birds can warm their eggs more efficiently. Speaking of eggs, they are tiny!
Hummingbird eggs are the size of a jellybean and are laid two at a time. When visiting the Education Center, you can get a front row seat of Beasley and her team tagging the birds.
You can even hold a hummingbird in your hand! It is a fun, educational getaway for all ages. Not to mention, the location is beautiful and gets you out in nature!
Click here to learn more about the Potlatch Conservation Education Center at Cook’s Lake.