CT Audubon: Bird Banding and Bagels

Celebrate the return of our migratory birds during International Migratory Bird Day Saturday, May 9, from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m., at the Connecticut Audubon Society Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary, 314 Unquowa Road.

Master bander Judy Richardson and her team will demonstrate all aspects of the bird banding process. Bagels will be available as attendees get an up close, bird’s-eye view of every aspect of bird banding.

Birds are captured using a fine net (known as a mist net), gently removed and fitted with a permanent aluminum or other light-weight band around the leg. They are then measured, weighed, aged and sexed before they are released back into the wild unharmed. Each band is individually numbered which enables the specific bird to be identified should it later be recaptured or recovered. The information is recorded and the data is sent to the original bander and the Bird Banding Laboratory.

Bird banding is an integral aid to the study of birds, their migration, behavior, social structure, life-span, survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. From the data collected, scientists can also determine where specific birds migrate to breed, where they spend the winter, whether species populations are rising or falling, and other details of their lives.

Connecticut Audubon Society has operated a Bird Banding Station at the Birdcraft Sanctuary since the 1970s. Volunteers, licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have captured and documented more than 18,000 birds there.

The fee is $5 for members and $7 for nonmembers. Call for reservations at 203-259-6305, ext. 109. Visit Connecticut Audubon Society’s website at ctaudubon.org for a complete list of spring programs and special events.

Easton resident Judy Richardson, chairman of the Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board of Governors and Master Bander, bands a bird at the Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary Banding Station.

Easton resident Judy Richardson, chairman of the Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board of Governors and Master Bander, bands a bird at the Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary Banding Station.

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