You Can Observe Professionals Banding Birds At Audubon

Pictured is a Flicker being released after it was banded was taken by D. Arlene Bonnett of Jamestown and entered in Audubon’s 2017 Nature Photography Contest. For information about the 2019 Contest, visit ACNCPhotoContest.com.

Bird banding is an age-old technique used to discover details about the behaviors of birds.

On Saturday mornings from April 27 through May 18, the public is invited to join ornithologists at Audubon Community Nature Center to observe them banding birds.

Those interested can drop in any time between 7 and 11 a.m. to learn exactly how bird banding is done and why. If the weather is too harsh for the safety of the birds, the nets will not be open and an alternate date will be chosen.

The bird scientists capture migrating and resident birds in “mist” nets, so-called because they are so fine they are almost like mist.

Those attending can watch how they fit them with identification bands, measure and weigh and then release them to go on with their lives. Some who attend to watch might even be selected to help release a bird.

While not necessary to enjoy the demonstrations, those attending may want to bring bird guides and binoculars if available and remember to dress for the weather. Plan to listen closely to the scientists and follow their instructions carefully, as safety of the birds is the priority.

Bird banding takes place at the picnic pavilion on the west side of the Audubon property at 1600 Riverside Road, just east of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. Look for a “Bird Banding” sign at the entrance closer to Route 62. Drive in and park on the grass.

All of the bird banders — Emily Thomas Perlock, Dr. Scott Stoleson and Don Watts — bring extensive experience and expertise to their tasks.

The program is made possible in part by the Buffalo Ornithological Society and an S. Knox Harper grant from the Northern Allegheny Conservation Association.

Audubon offers the demonstrations to the public free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

The Nature Center building and Blue Heron Gift Shop hours are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and Sundays from 1 to 4:30 p.m. More than five miles of trails and Bald Eagle viewing are open dawn to dusk daily.

To learn more about Audubon and its programs, call 569-2345 during business hours, visit AudubonCNC.org or find Audubon Community Nature Center on Facebook.

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