Bird Banding and Bagels

Event marks International Migratory Bird Day

Connecticut Audubon Society Birdcraft Sanctuary, 314 Unquowa Road, Fairfield will observe International Migratory Bird Day with a bird banding demonstration on Saturday, May 13, from 7:30-8:45 a.m.

Visitors may start the day with a bagel and a bird’s-eye view of the bird banding process as shown by Easton resident and Master Bander Judy Richardson and her team.

Watch as birds are gently captured with a fine mist net, carefully removed, and fitted with a permanent aluminum or other light-weight band around their leg. Each bird is measured, weighed, sexed and aged before being released back into the wild, unharmed. Should it later be recaptured or recovered, the bird can be identified from its individually numbered band, and data is recorded and sent back to the original bander and the Bird Banding Laboratory.

Bird banding is an integral aid to the study of birds and their migration, behavior, social structure, life-span, survival rate, reproductive success and population growth. From the information 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.

The 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.

Cost is $7.

Advance registration is required at 203-259-6305, ext. 109. For a complete list of upcoming spring programs and special events, visit ctaudubon.org.

Easton resident Judy Richardson, chairman of The Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board of Governors and Master Bander, prepares a bird for banding at the Birdcraft Sanctuary banding station in Fairfield.

Easton resident Judy Richardson, chairman of The Connecticut Audubon Society Fairfield Regional Board of Governors and Master Bander, prepares a bird for banding at the Birdcraft Sanctuary banding station in Fairfield.

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