Two Opportunities Remain to Observe National Bird Banding Program at Audubon

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Two opportunities remain to observe Audubon Community Nature Center’s MAPS bird banding program this year, on Saturday mornings, July 20, and August 3. As the picture demonstrates, happiness can be holding a White-throated Sparrow after it has been banded.

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Audubon Community Nature Center

You have two more opportunities to observe bird banding at Audubon Community Nature Center (ACNC) this summer, on Saturday mornings, July 20 and August 3.

While you are likely to see more the earlier you come when it is cooler, you can stop in any time between 6 a.m. and noon to learn how bird banding is conducted and why.

You 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.

This is the ninth year that Audubon has participated in the continent-wide MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) bird banding program.

Data gathered during these sessions help bird scientists understand more about bird species locally and beyond. Since 1989, more than 1,200 MAPS stations in 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.

Plan to take some pictures, but please: no dogs or other pets.

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, you may want to bring bird guides and binoculars if you 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 greatly appreciated.

The Nature Center building and Blue Heron Gift Shop hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and Sundays 1-4:30 p.m. More than five miles of trails and Bald Eagle viewing are open dawn to dusk daily. To learn more, call (716) 569-2345 during business hours 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.