MDC: Help band hummingbirds at Cape Nature Center

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – It's nearly time for ruby-throated hummingbirds to depart on their annual fall migration to Central America. Before these tiny birds leave the area, the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center will host a hummingbird banding event on Saturday, Aug. 29, from 8 a.m. to noon. Doors will open at 8 a.m. with banding beginning shortly after.

"This event is truly a special opportunity for children and adults to get up close to a hummingbird," said Sara Turner, manager of the center. "If you've not had the opportunity to see these fragile little birds when they're banded, then this is something that you won't want to miss."

Cathie Hutcheson of Makanda, Ill., will be capturing, banding, and releasing hummingbirds. She will record important information that can be used to track the annual migration of these small birds.

Many people provide needed energy for hummingbirds by growing native plants and hanging out feeders. Participants will learn how to attract hummingbirds as well as how to choose and maintain feeders which give the busy birds the needed boost for their long journey. Those who wish to attract hummingbirds to their own garden will be able to pick up free seeds for native plants that provide the preferred nectar for hummingbirds.

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is located in Cape County Park North, just off I-55 at exit 99.

No advance registration is required for this program. For more information, call the nature center at (573) 290-5218.