Mad Island Banding

April 8, 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 Nature Conservancy's Mad Island land steward, Julie Sullivan, is visiting the banding station today. She must be good luck because we just caught an adult male cerulean warbler. It is a blue beauty!"

Northern Parula (left), northern shoveler (right). Photos by Chan Robbins and Ed Guthro.

"Also caught today: northern parula, ovenbird (a new one for us) and indigo bunting. Yesterday we had a worm-eating warbler and 2 prothonotary warblers."

"Catch rate still slow, but a we are getting a great diversity."