Saturday, August 5, is Last Chance to Observe Audubon Bird Banding

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Audubon Community Nature Center

Saturday morning, August 5, is the last bird banding scheduled for 2017 at Audubon Community Nature Center. After the White-throated Sparrow, pictured here, was captured in a mist net, it was fitted with an identification band, measured, weighed, and released back to the wild.

Bird banding is a frequent activity at Audubon Community Nature Center.

This age-old technique used to discover details about the behaviors of birds is scheduled in the spring to add to the general knowledge about local birds. In the summer, the work is part of the continent-wide MAPS bird banding program.

Saturday morning, August 5, is the last opportunity to watch Nathan Weyandt as he captures, bands, and releases birds, recording information for science. Weyandt is a Fisheries Biologist Aide for the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission,

As the research requires opening the nets at dawn and monitoring birds for six hours, the hours are roughly between 6 a.m. and noon.

MAPS stands for Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship. The MAPS Program is made up of mist netting stations that capture and band birds for study. The data gathered during these sessions help bird scientists understand more about longevity, breeding, and movement of bird species in our region and beyond.

Since 1989, more than 1,200 MAPS stations spread across nearly every state and Canadian province have collected over two million bird capture records. For more information on the national MAPS program, visit birdpop.org/pages/maps.php.

Audubon’s grounds contain a diverse array of habitats, including many wet areas interspersed with small conifer plantations and deciduous forests. The area is home to many species of breeding birds including House Wrens, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, Swamp Sparrows, and Red-Winged Blackbirds.

With a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State, Weyandt has banded at Audubon Community Nature Center since 2013. Working in Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Maine, and American Samoa, where he ran a tropical MAPS station looking at feather molting patterns of island birds, he has banded approximately 1900 birds of 99 species.

While not necessary to enjoy the experience, you may want to bring bird guides and binoculars if you have them. Remember to dress for the weather and wear boots or shoes that can get muddy.

If the weather is particularly foul and could endanger birds caught in the nets, banding will be rescheduled. Please leave your four-legged friends at home.

This opportunity is free, but donations are appreciated. Reservations are not required.

Audubon Community Nature Center is at 1600 Riverside Road, one-quarter mile east of Route 62 between Jamestown, New York, and Warren, Pennsylvania.
The program is in the pavilion located on the west side of the property. The gate at the west entrance is unlocked on bird banding days and a sign is placed at the road.

Hours for the Nature Center building, including the Blue Heron Gift Shop, are 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and Sundays 1 to 4:30 p.m. The arboretum, gardens, picnic area, more than five miles of trails, and outdoor exhibit of Liberty the Bald Eagle are open dawn to dusk daily. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 or visit auduboncnc.org.

Audubon Community Nature Center builds and nurtures connections between people and nature by providing positive outdoor experiences, opportunities to learn about and understand the natural world, and knowledge to act in environmentally responsible ways.