Evan Dalton

Director, Manomet Observatory


At Manomet’s Bird Banding Lab, we use science and education to create opportunities that connect people to nature. Migratory and resident birds have been banded at our Manomet’s Plymouth, Mass. location since 1966.  Manomet’s Founding Director Kathleen (Betty) Anderson banded the first recorded bird – a Black-capped Chickadee.

For more than 50 years, Manomet has maintained a spring and fall migration bird banding program. Bird banding is an effective method of research that helps answer important questions on 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.

Manomet staff has recorded over 1,000 plant, animal, and fungus species on site, showing the value of our coastal forest and shoreline as a rich laboratory for research.