Riveredge Nature Center Bandathon

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On Saturday, May 15 2004 the Riveredge Bird Club is holding our 17th annual Birdathon & Bandathon. Full Disclosure: The 'thon' suffix on these words indicates our fund-raising efforts usually an amount per species observed and/or species banded. Birders will tally the total number of bird species seen on the property. Averages for the first 16 years are 103 species seen and 19 species banded. If you can, joint us at Riveredge on the 18th for a day of birding and banding. Click here for the highlights from 2001 (Yes, I am a little behind in updating this portion of the website!).

Contact Al if you would like to make a pledge (payments accepted by personal check or credit card)

This is a unique opportunity to observe an active research program and talk with the banders as they work, as well as a special chance to see many resident and migratory birds in the hand. If you would like directions follow this link http://www.riveredgenc.org/html/maps.html or email.

We will probably put up 20+ nets, which are located along multiple short loop trails, are opened at 15 minutes after sunrise and kept open until early afternoon. Then we take a break for a couple of hours and band again until dusk. Approximately every 30 minutes the nets are checked and any captured birds are gently extracted and brought to the banding areas where they are banded, measured and released unharmed. All of these activities are open to the public. Full Disclosure: donations or pledges are welcome. If you'd like to donate or pledge please send an email requesting more information

When I put a bird into a child's hand so they can 'release' it back to the wild I consider that child "hooked"! I believe that child will always remember when they briefly held a bird in their hand. The same is true for adults, I did a demo for a group of Riveredge's Teacher/Naturalists recently.

When you visit a banding operation you can see birds up close and personal like the pictures you see in many birding magazines. Have you ever seen the individual feathers of a cedar waxwing? Look at this link for pictures of a few birds we've banded. My website has a full screen closeup of a male blackburnian warbler in breeding plumage just inches away from the camera.

There are other banding fund raisers and demonstrations during May. Many have been 'written' about on Wisbirdn. It is a great way to hook kids (or adults). When our children were younger we took them out of school to observe banding. Now as a 15-year old and a 20-year old they want to help. We took our daughter out of school one day last year to band during a "spring warbler fall out". We tell them "All Learning Does Not Happen In the School". A day in nature's classroom can be wonderful.

Al Sherkow
Master Bird Bander

Last Update: Friday, 14 May, 2004

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