Spring Banding Season Sees More Than 400 Visitors

Manomet’s banding program delivered educational demonstrations to more than 400 people during the three-month spring season, including a group of students in Argentina that received a live landbird tutorial online.

 

A total of 1,328 birds of 66 different species were banded throughout the course of the season, which lasts from mid-April to mid-June each year. The most frequently banded bird was the Gray Catbird, with 158 new captures and 288 captures overall.

 

Stand-out species included a Saltmarsh Sparrow, which is typically found in the habitat its name implies, a full adult male bluebird, and several neotropical migrant species including a Bay-breasted, a Hooded, and a Blackburnian Warbler.

 

“The educational programs that run out of the banding lab help connect children and adults to the world of bird banding and migration,” said lead bander Meghan Powell. “We want to give our visitors and students an appreciation for landbirds and for the natural world.”

 

More than 400 people visited the banding laboratory from thirteen different groups. The staff provided visitors with live banding demonstrations, presentations on landbird migration, and guided walks through the banding lanes.  

 

Visiting groups included classes from several local schools including Manomet and Indian Brook Elementary Schools, post-secondary schools such as Bridgewater State University and Wheaton College, and local bird watching and photography clubs.

 

 In May, the staff delivered a virtual banding demonstration – in Spanish – to sixth grade students from an elementary school in San Antonio Oeste, Argentina. The presentation was part of a pilot program to reach schools that are further than a bus ride away from Manomet headquarters.

 

The average number of birds caught this season per hour of having the nets up was comparable to past year averages, but unfavorable weather conditions led to decreased diversity of species, according to Banding Director Trevor Lloyd-Evans.

 

“It was a particularly poor banding season for flying insectivores like tree swallows and for flycatchers in general,” Lloyd-Evans said. “The recent rain, wind, and cold temperatures kept them out of the air and hence out of our nets. We observed several species arriving earlier this season than in past seasons, which could be indicative, in some species, of responses to climate change.”

 

- Haley Jordan