The Hummer/Bird Study Group
Mission and History
Adult male Anna's Hummingbird
(Photo © HBSG, Inc.)
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
(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
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
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.
male Black-throated BlueWarbler
(Photo © HBSG, Inc.)
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
locations. We hope to expand that to seven locations
over the next couple of years.
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.
continue an extensive education effort through seminars,
adult education sessions, and banding demonstrations.
This allows us to share our research with tens of thousands
people annually. HBSG is an active Partner in Education
with local school districts and places great emphasis on
education of children. The long-term survival
of birds and their habitat is dependent upon the attitudes
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
public. Every year we host over 6000 guests at the
banding station. During these banding sessions the
is exposed to all aspects of identification, behavior
and habitat needs of the migratory species that we
It is a treat for many visitors, of all ages, to have
the chance to touch, hold and release many of these
the birds and their habitat is the mission of HBSG.