Spring migration bird banding at Audubon Nature Center

Date(s) - Saturday, Apr 25, 2015
7:00 am - 11:00 am

Audubon Center & Sanctuary


You can observe, and possibly even participate in, the annual bird banding from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday mornings from April 25 through May 16 at the Audubon Nature Center, 1600 Riverside Rd., one-quarter mile off of Route 62 between Jamestown and Warren. Look for the sign at the entrance closer to Route 62. Drive right in and park on the grass. Go to the picnic pavilion on the west side of the Audubon property.

Weather permitting, you can join the ornithologists and watch how they capture migrating and resident birds, fit them with identification bands, measure and weigh them, then release them to go on with their lives. You might even be selected to help release a bird.

Participants are reminded to dress for the weather. While not necessary to enjoy the demonstrations, you may want to bring bird guides and binoculars if you have them. Plan to listen closely to the scientists and follow their instructions carefully, as safety of the birds is the priority.

The Nature Center offers these demonstrations to the public free of charge, but donations are greatly appreciated.

The Nature Center building and Blue Heron Gift Shop hours are 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily and 1-4:30 p.m. Sundays. The trails and bald eagle viewing are open dawn to dusk.  To learn more, call (716) 569-2345.

Bird banding is used to discover details about the lives of birds. Scientists who have both federal and state permits – and a great deal of training and experience – capture the birds in “mist” nets, so-called because they are so fine they are almost like mist.

Dr. Scott Stoleson, Emily Thomas Perlock and Don Watts will lead the bird banding.

Dr. Scott Stoleson from nearby Sugar Grove, PA, is a professional ornithologist who has published more than 60 scientific papers on ecology and conservation of birds. He has conducted avian research in the western United States, Central and South America and has led natural history tours to the Caribbean and Latin America. He is currently the Research Wildlife Biologist at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station lab in Irvine, PA, and a Research Associate of the Roger Tory Peterson Institute. Stoleson holds a Master Banding permit and has 35 years of bird banding experience.

With a master’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Penn State, Emily Thomas Perlock was a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service and is currently employed as an instructor in Wildlife Technology at Penn State DuBois. She learned how to band in 2005 and has banded over 4,000 birds. She holds a Master Banding permit and is a certified bird bander by the North American Banding Council. Perlock established a banding program at the arboretum at Penn State and has participated in banding programs for Audubon and the Roger Tory Peterson Institute.

Warren County Pennsylvania native Don Watts has been biological technical assistant for the United States Forest Service in the Allegheny National Forest. A Master Bird Bander, he monitors the American Kestrel Nestbox trail in Warren County, was a participant in the first Pennsylvania Breeding Bird Atlas and regional coordinator in the second, and a participant in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service breeding bird surveys for more than 20 years. Watts is past president of Roger Tory Peterson Ornithological Club and Coordinator of the Warren Christmas Bird Count.