Mad Island Banding

May 3, 2012 by Pete Marra

Every spring millions and millions of migratory birds fly non-stop across the Gulf of Mexico and make land fall at places like the TNC's Mad Island Preserve in Texas. Thanks to support from SCBI champion Helen DuBois and the Trull Foundation, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) is there to greet these tired travelers back to the United States. A collaborative effort, SMBC along with TNC and the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory plan to combine a rigorous bird banding effort along with a educational activities for local Texas school groups to excite the masses about migratory birds and their migration. Please check in with us regularly from now until mid-May to see how this amazing animal migration is faring.

Bea Harrison, the lead bander, writes:

"Migration was the theme at the kindergarten field trip today, as we hosted 30 students from the Palacios, Texas school district. It was a joy to see their eyes light up when we showed them a ruby throated hummingbird, curved billed thrasher, white-eyed vireo, yellow warbler, northern mockingbird, yellow-breasted chat and an Acadian flycatcher. Volunteers, John and Margaret Green, from Washington State and Carol Jones from Gulf Coast Bird Observatory helped us introduce the kids to body parts of birds and to the concept of migration. Before they got back on the bus, each child was banded with a paper band, with their own unique number. One little boy told me it was his best day ever, with the birds! Another one asked me "Which one of you should I hug?""