Mad Island Banding

March 29, 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:

"Big rainstorm here. We are back at the lodge. Caught a hooded warbler and some savannah sparrows this morning.

Hooded Warbler (left) and Savannah Sparrow (right) © Gerhard Hofmann

Since things are slow we thought we would show you where the Mad Island Preserve is geographically. Mad Island is nestled in the center of the Texas coast. The site where the banding occur has 20 mist nets distributed across a swath of short coastal forest, a perfect stopover area for tired songbirds."