Mad Island Banding

April 7, 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:

"Birds still trickling in. Twenty birds of fourteen species yesterday. Best bird a gorgeous Northern Parula."

Northern Parula (left), northern shoveler (right). Photos by Gerhard Hofmann and George Jameson.

"A feral hog ran through one our nets, ripping out the bottom trammel. Had to replace."

"Colorful northern shoveler ducks in our marsh. The Nina & the Pinta sailing by was a treat. We are guessing they are replicas kept in Corpus Christi, TX, heading somewhere for Easter holiday. Happy Good Friday everyone. We are hoping for colorful Easter birds in our nets. "