Last Friday marked the beginning of spring banding, and to most Manomet supporters—it’s the only other opening day worth celebrating.


Every year, on April 15, our banding team kicks off the season by setting up 50 mist nets around campus. Once the nets are set up, the banders run the nets Monday through Friday from dawn to dusk to check for and band resident and migrating birds.


“The spring banding season is only three days old, but each day seems to have alternated from warm and spring-like, to cold and windy off a frigid Cape Cod Bay,” Trevor Lloyd-Evans, Director of Landbird Conservation reports. “With nets open only in the warm, sheltered parts of the Manomet property, we have seen a flood of grackles and cowbirds.  We have also banded both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets as well as Pine, Yellow Palm and Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warblers.  Recaptures of previously banded birds include a successfully overwintering Gray Catbird and a returning seven(+)-year-old Brown Thrasher that consistently breeds on our property.”



From left to right: Brown Creeper, Palm Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler. Photos by Mattie VandenBoom.


Our banding station wouldn’t be the same without the amazing people who operate it—our banders and volunteers. This year we are welcoming back two veterans as lead banders—Mattie VandenBoom and Lauren diBiccari—and welcoming two new talents—Sarah Groendyk and Emily Renaud.


Without further ado—let’s meet the banders!


This is Mattie’s fourth spring at Manomet and she’s the lab’s go-to-expert in bird identification. She has been banding birds since she was 12 and expertly maps out her year around migration seasons—bouncing from one banding station to another. She will leave us at the end of May to join the MAPS Banding Program at Audubon Sharon in Sharon, Connecticut, and then will spend the fall banding at the Kiawah Island Bird Banding Station in South Carolina. Give her a couple more years and she may band more birds than Trevor! 



Lauren diBiccari releasing a Yellow-shafted Flicker. Video by Mattie VandenBoom


Lauren joins Manomet’s spring banding team for the fourth time. After leading Manomet’s fall banding lab this fall, Lauren traveled to Belize to band migrant birds on their wintering grounds. A talented artist, Lauren spent last summer as an artist in residence at the Smithsonian Institute for Migratory Birds.


Our 2016 Spring Banders! From left to right: Sarah Groendyk, Lauren diBiccari, Mattie VandenBoom​ and Emily Renaud.


Sarah is a recent Ohio Wesleyan University graduate with a degree in Zoology and French. She has worked as a naturalist at Narrows Reserve in Beavercreek, Ohio, but is excited to explore New England’s varied ecosystems for the first time this spring.  


Emily graduated from the University of Rhode Island in 2014 and has worked for the Saltmarsh Habitat and Avian Research Program as an Avian Point Count Technician. This winter, Emily volunteered at the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown, Rhode Island, and is excited to expand her banding experience at Manomet.


Every year, we welcome hundreds of students, groups, and individuals to our banding lab to learn about our work and experience the magic of birds up close. As a research facility we are closed to the public however, we do schedule visits and Family Days.  Our next Family Day will be held on Saturday June 4. You can learn more about the event here.


And if you would like to make an appointment to visit the banding lab, please contact Evan Dalton at


Watch our Facebook page and Twitter feed for updates throughout the season!