People are detached from nature more than ever before because of our reliance on technology. We are losing touch with the significant effects of climate change in our own back yards. Birds have long been popular and sensitive indicators of environmental change and can help illustrate these wide-ranging changes. At Manomet’s Banding Lab, we use science and education to create opportunities that connect people to nature.
Collecting data to benefit research and educate our communities through interactive learning and hands-on training. For more than 50 years, Manomet has maintained a spring and fall migration banding program. Bird Banding is an effective method of research that helps answer important questions in issues from conservation to climate change. Manomet’s banding lab, one of the first bird observatories established in North America, focuses on areas including:
- Migration: When and where birds arrive can tell us about habitat and food availability. This information can be used to inform habitat management and land use strategies.
- Population: With the data we collect in the lab, we can produce estimates on changes in population and notate trends over time.
- Life history: Banding contributes valuable information on longevity, habitat, diet, and other physiological trends across species.
- Productivity: Banding helps us detect shifts in age or sex ratios that would otherwise go undetected.
Check here for weekly summaries of current and past banding seasons.
Migratory bird banding operations represent an underutilized source of data about bird migration. Long-term data sets in ecology, like ours, may lead to discoveries often missed in shorter-term studies, and are critical for establishing baselines and tracking changes in the natural world. Because birds are widely surveyed by professional and amateur observers alike, and their natural histories are often well-understood, wild bird populations can be useful sentinels of environmental change and ecosystem condition.