Mad Island Banding

April 4, 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:

"The Mad Island Banding Station has once again been dealing with extreme weather. High wind and a possible twister picked up our banding tent Monday morning put it in the bushes. The banding crew rebuilt it better than ever and moved to a slightly higher, dryer spot."

"Despite the storms, we have begun to see a variety of migrants. So far this week we caught our first Nashville warblers and a chat. We also caught hooded warblers, and red-eyed vireos. We have also started participating in the migratory dragonfly partnership project focusing on green darners."

"In the last two days we have seen more migratory barges along the adjacent Intracoastal Waterway than migratory birds."