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One Planet - The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, & Renewal On Wings

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On this edition of Your Call’s One Planet series, we're speaking with naturalist Sy Montgomery, author of The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, and Renewal on Wings, and Brenda Sherburn LaBelle, a hummingbird rehabilitator. For the past decade, Sherburn La Belle has dedicated her life to taking care of one of the tiniest and most fragile birds on earth. One wrong move could instantly kill these delicate creatures.

The story of Brenda and two tiny orphans, Maya and Zuni are the subjects of The Hummingbirds' Gift. These incredible winged creatures fly backwards, dive at speeds of 61 miles per hour, and beat their wings more than 60 seconds a second. Montgomery writes that the hummingbird’s world becomes yet more hazardous with human disturbance, especially the relentless destruction of swamps and woodlands—hummingbirds’ best nesting areas, full of nourishing bugs as well as energy-giving flowers. What will it take to preserve these magnificent birds?


Sy Montgomery, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and author of 20 books, including The Hummingbirds' Gift: Wonder, Beauty, & Renewal On Wings, The Soul of an Octopus, and The Good Good Pig

Brenda Sherburn La Belle, artist, sculptor and a hummingbird rehabilitator who has worked with WildCare for a decade

Web Resources:

Save World Draw: Hummingbirds

Sy Montgomery: The Hummingbirds’ Gift

Audubon: How Climate Change Affects Hummingbirds' Feeding Behavior

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.
Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.