At long last, the week we’ve all been waiting for has arrived; the week where the staff at Manomet HQ collectively defrosts, steps out into the warm April sun, and waves hello to the freshly inaugurated spring bird banders!


This season’s dynamic squad of four enthusiastic and impressively experienced women joined our family last weekend, hailing from all over the northeastern U.S. Starting April 17, they began their journey as—to quote Trevor Lloyd-Evans— the “indefatigable” staff to kick off the lab’s 51st year in operation. Running 50 mist nets sunrise to sunset Monday through Friday through mid-June, we have no doubt this spring’s team will operate our lab with boundless fervor and expertise.



From left to right: A male Common Grackle, two beautiful slate-colored juncos, and American Goldfinches.



Here are your Manomet 2017 spring banders:


Lauren diBiccari

Lauren joins us for her fifth season with the Manomet banding lab, returning just weeks ago from her second winter in Belize banding migrant songbirds. Prior to her travels in Central America, she spent her summer and fall of 2016 in Nevada, banding and counting raptors for Hawkwatch International. We are delighted to have her back as lead bander this season and expect her wealth of experience and professionalism to serve the lab well, as always!


Maina Handmaker

Maina’s banding experience has brought her all over, from Thunder Cape Bird Observatory in Ontario, Canada, to Monteverde, Costa Rica. Before her love of birds led her to pursue field work in ornithology, she worked for six years in the fields of Six River Farm – an organic vegetable farm on the shores of Merrymeeting Bay in Bowdoinham, Maine. She lives in Brunswick, Maine, where she has worked to improve the local farmers’ markets and also runs a small letterpress print shop.


Elsa Chen

Elsa graduated from Skidmore in 2015 with a degree in Biology, focusing on animal behavior, from betta fish to bird flight. Since her days as an undergrad, Elsa has assisted in studies involving Bachman’s Sparrow habitat selection, and was an intern at the Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center.


Sarah Duff

A 2014 College of the Atlantic graduate, Sarah already comes to us equipped with banding experience – alongside former Manomet bander Kayla Baker, no less! Aside from her work with the Alaska Songbird Institute banding and tracking Tree Swallows, Sarah has also conducted field work in Maine and Ecuador. She has experience teaching and leading youth groups, making her a valuable asset to our education team!


Join us in offering these four a warm Manomet welcome. We’re eager to provide them with the legendary experience of banding at our historic institution, and can’t wait to have you meet them for yourself! We are generally closed to the public, though would be happy to schedule a group visit – simply contact Evan Dalton at


Be sure to stay up to date on all the latest goings-on in the lab by following the official Twitter account @ManometBanding or the Manomet Facebook and Twitter pages. Also, stay tuned for information regarding this spring’s Family Day/Open House to take place Saturday, June 3.


Meet our Spring 2017 banders! From left to right: Lauren diBiccari, Maina Handmaker, Elsa Chen and Sarah Duff.