Monday, January 19, 2015

Songbird Banding at McAllen Nature Center

Sunday morning I went over to the McAllen Nature Center for Songbird banding. This was the first time I've seen songbirds banded and my first time at the McAllen Nature center.
The nature center has been closed for several years and has just reopened recently.
You can read the very interesting history of the Nature center here.
 The bander and volunteers catch  the birds in nets at the feeding stations and then place them in bags until they are ready to band them.

Bird banding is important because it helps keep a record of migration, behavior and life-span and survival rate, reproductive success and population growth.

The banders are very careful to not stress the birds too much and to not hurt them.

After the banding, a volunteer holds the bird up so we can get a better look and take pictures. 

Black and White warbler showing off his new band.

Getting to see these birds up close allows us to see details we otherwise wouldn't notice.
Like this Great Kiskadee which has rictal bristles around the base of their beaks that help funnel flying insects into their mouths.

Volunteer showing the rufous underwing of this White Tipped Dove.

Volunteer showing the orange on the Orange Crown warbler.

It was great that the volunteers got the children involved by letting them release the birds.

I hope more people will come out and support the McAllen Nature center. 
They are open from Wednesday till Sunday 8 a.m until 12 p.m.
Here is a list of activities they are offering.

I hope to see you there!