Three Saturdays remain to observe a professional ornithologist at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary as she bands birds for scientific research.
On July 14 and 21 and Aug. 4, Emily Thomas will continue the work began in June as part of the continent-wide MAPS bird banding program. The nets will be opened at 6 a.m. and close at noon. In case of rain, the bandings will take place the following Sunday.
On July 21, the Audubon Center and Sanctuary will host Breakfast with the Birds. A full breakfast will be served for $5, and a la carte options will also be available while supplies last.
Three Saturdays remain this summer to observe a professional ornithologist at the Audubon Center and Sanctuary as she bands birds for scientific research. Those who are interested can be real participants, like Beck Benson with this white-throated sparrow.
The Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship Program is a bird banding project to learn about the breeding behaviors of birds. The research involves capturing birds in thin "mist" nets, gathering data and fitting each with a metal band that has a unique identification number, then releasing the bird. More information about the MAPS Program can be found at www.birdpop.org.
Audubon is one of hundreds of stations collecting data on more than 200 bird species for MAPS. Each time a banded bird is recaptured, scientists learn a bit more about where birds go, how long they stay at their destinations, and other data.
The Audubon Sanctuary's diverse array of habitats makes it an excellent location for a MAPS station. It is home to many species of breeding birds including house wrens, gray catbirds, yellow warblers, common yellowthroats, swamp sparrows and red-winged blackbirds. The 10 mist nets scattered throughout the southwest corner of the sanctuary allow scientists to capture, band and process these breeding birds.
Emily Thomas is a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station's Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Irvine, Pa. With bachelor's and master's degrees in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State, she is certified by the North American Banding Council and has banded more than 3,000 birds.
Observers are reminded to dress for the weather and may want to wear muck boots to go with Thomas to check the nets.
This opportunity is free, but donations are appreciated. Reservations are not requred.
The Audubon Center and Sanctuary is at 1600 Riverside Road, off Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren.
For more information, call 569-2345 or visit jamestownaudubon.org.