Most of us love a good challenge, and learning to read colored leg bands on a moving bird is a great one. Frequently used in conjunction with a uniquely-numbered metal leg band in ornithological studies, colored leg bands offer a way to ascertain the identify of a bird without having to recapture it. Observations of these color-banded birds can provide valuable information about survival and population size.
This summer VCE is collaborating with the North Branch Nature Center and the US Army Corps of Engineers to encourage citizen scientists to observe (and report upon) a local color-banded population of Song Sparrows and Gray Catbirds at two locations in Central Vermont: the North Branch Nature Center (Montpelier) and the Union Village Dam (Thetford). Ultimately, we hope to expand this union, between VCE and citizen scientists, to a broader suite of species occupying a larger range of habitats in Vermont.
We invite all citizen scientists, regardless of their ability or birding experience, to participate in this collaborative endeavor.
Participating is easy–just go birding this summer (starting in June) at the North Branch Nature Center or Union Village Dam and report your sightings to Vermont eBird. Read more about collecting and submitting your data, and learn how to read and report color-banded birds.
When can we expect to find color banded birds at UVD???
We’re hoping to have color-banded birds out there by June 1st. That way, we’ll be sure to avoid tagging migrants that may just be passing through. Maybe I’ll create a News page for this project and post some updates of the progress of our banding and folks resighting the birds. Hope to see you out there.