Coastal Bird Banding

Swainson’s Warbler banded on Fort Morgan, spring 2017. Photo: Neil Gilbert.

Public bird banding returns to the Alabama Gulf Coast again this spring, courtesy of Birmingham Audubon and its partners (Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural ResourcesMississippi State UniversityGulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourismthe Alabama Historical CommissionMobile Bay Audubon Society).

This year’s banding event runs from Tuesday, April 17th, 2018, to Saturday, April 21st, at Baldwin County’s historic Fort Morgan (110 AL-180, Gulf Shores). We invite the public to join us during the following hours:

  • Tuesday, April 17th, noon to 3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 18th, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 19th, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Friday, April 20th, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 21st, 8 a.m. to noon

Reviving the bird banding program originally championed by the late Bob Sargent and his wife, Martha, this event provides an invaluable look at spring migrants traveling across the Coastal Alabama section of the Mississippi Flyway. Throughout the week, participants enjoy unparalleled access to the researchers and the work, with up-close-and-personal views of some amazing birds.

Remember to bring water, bug spray, sunscreen, and perhaps an outdoor chair; restrooms and concessions are available next to the ferry, and all ages are welcome to attend. (Please note that while the Coastal Alabama Bird Banding Project is free, there is an admission fee to enter the park. For up-to-date pricing, visit http://www.fort-morgan.org/plan-visit/.)

You can read more coverage of last year’s event here, here, and hereTo find out more about this annual event, email the Program & Science Director.

2018 participating researchers:

Eric Soehren, Ecologist, Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

A graduate of Jacksonville State University with both undergraduate and master’s degrees in Biology, Eric has been a zoologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource’s State Lands Division since 1997. He currently manages the Wehle Land Conservation Center (WLCC), where he administers the Avian Conservation Center, which works to develop and coordinate bird research and monitoring programs. Eric is actively involved with several conservation organizations including the Alabama Ornithological Society, Southeast Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, and the Inland Bird Banding Association.

Dr. Scott Rush, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture, Mississippi State

An assistant professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Aquaculture at Mississippi State, Scott received his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in 2009. While his graduate research focused on properties of northern Gulf tidal-marsh ecosystems, he and his graduate students currently work on developing novel approaches to understand landscape/trophic ecologies and wildlife populations.