Mad Island Banding

April 10, 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:

"Another big day at the banding station—49 new birds of 22 species! New for the season: wood thrush, Swainson's thrush, summer tanager, Kentucky warbler, Tennessee warbler, and blue grosbeak. We caught 10 beautiful indigo buntings today—all males in their brilliant blue breeding plumage. We also caught 10 white-eyed vireos, some of which may be local breeders."