Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores, Alabama
was an important part of our history during the Civil War, Spanish-American War, and both World Wars. Today it also serves an important role in the study of migrating birds. In fact, the Fort Morgan State Historical Park has been named one of the "Hundred Globally Important Bird Areas" by the American Bird Conservancy.This year the Spring Bird Banding Session will be held from April 2-14.
Banding is done from dawn to mid-afternoon each day. Banding sessions are open not only to trained volunteers, but also the general public. Taking part in banding is free, but there is an admission fee
to the park of $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children 6-12. Children under 6 are admitted free. This truly is a unique opportunity to watch as thousands of migrating birds stop at Gulf Shores, their first resting place as they travel from their winter homes in Central and South America.
Valuable information is gathered as volunteers and visitors at the Fort Morgan Bird Banding Station gently hold birds gathered in mist-nets scattered around the area. Each bird is placed in a small mesh bag to be weighed and a very small band is placed on the bird's leg. Visitors are given a chance to hold the birds and get a close-up view before they are released.Information on each bird such as weight, health condition, species, and sex, is entered into laptop computers.
The information provides insights not only into the condition of the birds individually, but also for monitoring population levels and the effects of weather on bird migration. Interesting photos
of the 2010 Banding Session can be seen on the Fort Morgan website.The 2010 Spring Bird Banding Session at Gulf Shores
' Fort Morgan resulted in the banding of 87 different species and 1467 individual birds
. A detailed list can be found at this Hummingbird
website. The Humming Bird Study Group, a not-for-profit organization started in 1987 and dedicated to the study and preservation of hummingbirds, notes that 14 different species of hummingbirds have been identified during the banding sessions. You may contact the founders of The Humming Bird Study Group, Bob and Martha Sargent of Clay, Alabama, at 205-681-2888 for more information on the study group or the Gulf Shores Spring Bird Banding Session.
Bring a lawn chair, water, lunch if you wish, and your camera. Â Enjoy a great opportunity to see these beautiful migrating birds up close, and learn more about one of the many gifts of nature we have in Gulf Shores.
Â I also extend a welcome to you to explore Gulf Shores and Orange Beach. Â I am available to help you with buying or selling property in this beautiful area. Give me a call today. Lance Steffek,