Each Spring and Fall Ft. Morgan has thousands of visitors I’m not talking about vacationers, I’m talking about the feathered kind. It is time again for our friends from the HBSG (Hummer / Bird Study Group) are here tagging and studying our feathered friends again.
The birds that they tag each Spring fly across the Gulf of Mexico north from Central America and Mexico. The often fly 20 hours or more to make it to Fort Morgan, which is for many of the birds the first land they see after traveling. The HBSG stretches extremely fine nets between trees to catch the birds as they land. Once a bird is trapped in the net a member of of HBSG carefully frees the bird and transports it to the tagging station. at the tagging station the bird is identified, weighed, measured, and banded. Each band has a number specific to that bird that will not be duplicated. Some of the birds the hummers especially are given a chance to refuel from a special sugar water mixture. Then these birds are released, to go on their way.
The members of the HBSG study for years to learn about the birds they will band and measure, then they continue their education with years of training on how to handle and properly gather data from the birds. The valuable information that this group gathers provides information on migration and population patterns for birds of all types. If you are in Fort Morgan, Alabama bird banding is not to be missed. The banding takes place just near the entrance of the fort grounds. To watch the banding and maybe even let a bird go, there is a $5 entrance fee for adults, $4 for seniors and $3 for children. We wanted to say a special thanks to Our friend Ellen who shared some pictures with us this year. She has volunteered with the HBSG for several years and stays with Sunset while shes here. Apparently this beautiful woodpecker let everyone know he was very unhappy by pecking anyone who came near.