I'm not sure when we discovered bird banding at Ft. Morgan, Alabama, but once we did, Linda was hooked. The Hummer/Bird Study Group banded migrant birds each year in April and October for two weeks in each month.
Ft. Morgan is on a peninsula west of Gulf Shores, Alabama that juts out into the Gulf of Mexico and provides a natural break for Bon Secour and Mobile Bays. It's a perfect rest stop for migrating birds. In the Spring they have just flown over the Gulf and they "fall out" at Ft. Morgan for their first rest and feeding opportunity. In the Fall, it's their last chance to fatten up and rest before making the long journey across the Gulf.
The Hummer/Bird Study Group set up "mist nets" in the woods across the peninsula. Volunteers walked the nets and picked out captured birds for a physical examination, recording of data, and banding.
Visitors get to see the birds up close and have the chance to "adopt" a bird in which case they would get a certificate and a photo with "their" bird. The certificate included the bird's band number. Really special visitors were allowed to release the birds.
Eventually, Linda became an unofficial member of the crew, and she was trained to take birds out of the nets and display them to the curious visitors. She was in heaven.
We visited every day for these two weeks in October of 2005, and I took close-up photos of all the captured birds, and I got a few other photos of birds in the trees.
If you are interested, you can click on the Play button below for a slideshow of the 443 photos of all the banding and birds.
Unfortunately, the founder of the Hummer/Bird Study Group passed away, and I don't think they are doing the banding any longer. However, Ft. Morgan, Alabama is still a fantastic place for serious and hobbyist bird watchers.