Audubon To Hold Bird Banding Saturday
This summer is the ninth year that the Audubon Community Nature Center has participated in the continent-wide MAPS bird banding program.
Bird scientists will be working at ACNC on Saturdays June 15 and 22, July 6, 13 and 20, and Aug. 3. While those attending are likely to see more the earlier they come when it is cooler, visitors can stop in any time between 6 a.m. and noon to learn how bird banding is conducted and why.
Those attending can walk side-by-side with ornithologists to learn how they capture birds in mist nets, weigh, measure, and identify them, fit them with a uniquely numbered band, and then set them free. 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.
Data gathered during these MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) sessions help bird scientists understand more about bird species in the region and beyond. Since 1989, more than 1,200 MAPS stations spread across nearly every state and Canadian province have collected more than two million bird capture records. For more information on the national MAPS program, visit birdpop.org/pages/maps.php.
It is requested that no dogs or other pets are brought.
Emily Perlock, wildlife tech instructor at Penn State DuBois, oversees the research. Perlock has been banding birds since 2007, holds a Master Banding permit, and is a certified bander through the North American Banding Council.
While not necessary to enjoy the demonstrations, those attending may want to bring bird guides and binoculars if they have them, 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.
Come to 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 right in and park on the grass.
Bird banding is supported in part by the Northern Allegheny Conservation Association.
Audubon offers these demonstrations to the public free of charge, but donations are appreciated.