Every year, our friends at Rocky Mountain Raptor Program in Fort Collins, CO receive over 300 injured, sick and orphaned birds. They are nursed back to health and more than 80% of them are released back into the wild. Last fall, bird banders at our Barr Lake State Park station enjoyed the opportunity to meet one of the recipients of their kindness in person!
This year is the 100th anniversary of the Bird Banding Laboratory, the federal agency responsible for overseeing all bird banding efforts in the United States and Canada. Here we’ll take a look at why banding is such a powerful tool for research while highlighting a few of our projects that put banding to use. With the fall banding season rapidly approaching, its a good time to reexamine what makes a bird in the hand so valuable.
Barr Lake’s fall banding station had an incredible season with 1,902 individual birds caught last year—more than any year in over a decade! The station celebrates another chapter of educating visitors of all ages about the importance of birds in our lives, while also contributing to our understanding of bird distribution, population levels, and conservation needs at key migration stopover habitat.
With over 1,400 birds banded this season and 64 species recorded, the 2015 fall migratory season at Bird Conservancy of the Rockies’ Barr Lake Banding Station was “epic” for both birds and kids. Nearly 1,400 students and over 400 adults visited the station. Experiences varied from preschoolers taking their first-ever field trip on a bus to ornithology students from nearby universities beefing up their bird identification skills.