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Winter Report 2002

October banding of Fall migrants on Alabama Gulf Coast

Flying for their lives - food and habitat gone here for the winter - our songbirds and others searched the Gulf Coast for a rest stop before departure for the tropics. If weather permitted, they lifted off after dark for the 600-mile non-stop flight to Mexico and the Caribbean.

About half will make it back in the Spring.

A small, skilled banding party (Hummer/Bird Study Group, Clay, Alabama) worked dawn to dusk this October at Park Fort Morgan, Alabama to band and check the physical condition of a small sample of our land birds passing through. The trans-Gulf migratory birds must be fattened now if they are to make the journey. Insects, fruit, berries, and nector are gone in the North. Fat on their breasts is their gasoline. (Some migrants fly around the Gulf through Texas or peninsular Florida, such as most hawks and flycatchers.)

Here are a few feathered travelers and their humans to remember until Spring:

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