The Hummer/Bird Study Group

Mission and History


Adult male Anna's Hummingbird 
(Photo © HBSG, Inc.)

The Hummer/Bird Study Group (HBSG) is a non-profit organization [IRS-501(C)3] founded by Bob and Martha Sargent of Clay, Alabama. It is dedicated to the study and preservation of hummingbirds and other Neo-tropical migrants (songbirds). The research programs with hummingbirds and migrating songbirds have been under way since 1987. In the early days the Sargent's savings account paid the expenses incurred. Since then many friends and bird conservationists have contributed financially to the cause. Bob & Martha wanted these donations to be tax-deductible. Thus, HBSG was formed in 1994 as a child of the necessity to support the continuing research as well as reward those who contributed financially to that effort. Through memberships and numerous fund raising activities, HBSG is able to support the research of dozens of banders and raise the environmental awareness of many thousands of people a year. As of October 2004, the membership totals over 2000 members from 43 states and 5 countries. The majority of HBSG members live in the southern United States; but as nationwide publicity increases, our membership base will broaden to encompass much of the continental United States.

HBSG-trained associate banders hold a high percentage of all the hummingbird banding permits in the world. These federally required permits authorize our banders to capture and band hummingbirds in over 30 states. All of the banding activities are monitored by the United States Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division, Bird Banding Laboratory. Most of HBSG's banders are also authorized to band neotropical migrants and other songbirds in accordance with our defined research programs.

Adult male Black-throated BlueWarbler 
(Photo © HBSG, Inc.)

Much of HBSG's banding of migratory passerines (songbirds) takes place in the state of Alabama. Currently a major focus on passerine banding and research is also under way in Texas. Banding there is being conducted under state permits at five locations.  We hope to expand that to seven locations over the next couple of years.

The remaining permitted states in our study area are primarily for the study of wintering hummingbird species.  We have only scratched the surface in our quest to learn more about these truly amazing creatures known as hummingbirds.  The only way to preserve all species of birds for future generations is to know what they require for survival. The best way to accomplish this is to learn as much about them as possible. Banding is one of the tools in that effort.

We continue an extensive education effort through seminars, adult education sessions, and banding demonstrations. This allows us to share our research with tens of thousands of people annually. HBSG is an active Partner in Education with local school districts and places great emphasis on the environmental education of children.  The long-term survival of birds and their habitat is dependent upon the attitudes of the young people of today. The hands-on approach to educating children allows each child present to experience birds as living, breathing creatures deserving of our protection. Our banding station at Fort Morgan, Alabama, is open to the public. Every year we host over 6000 guests at the banding station. During these banding sessions the general public is exposed to all aspects of identification, behavior and habitat needs of the migratory species that we encounter. It is a treat for many visitors, of all ages, to have the chance to touch, hold and release many of these birds. Preserving the birds and their habitat is the mission of HBSG.

 

© The Hummer/Bird Study Group, Inc. This site last updated 5/29/12