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Bird Bands Play Sweet Music to Biologists Monitoring Populations

Apr 17

Written by:
4/17/2012 8:56 AM  RssIcon

You may glance at this video and wonder just what the heck these folks are doing to these birds.

Catching them in nets. Ruffling their feathers. Putting shiny silver rings on their legs.

But trust us, people — this is all in the name of good, sound science.

Banding songbirds, like these scientists are doing, is a tool to determine waxing and waning songbird populations, habits and habitats. All in a day’s work for some of the biologists from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation,

Here, biologists are determining songbird populations in the Sandy Run Savannas State Natural Area. They catch the birds in mist nests, which cause no harm, and carefully examine and record each bird’s age, weight and other characteristics. They also fit each bird’s leg with a numbered band, which is registered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, so that if that bird is caught again, anywhere in the world, its location can be noted and monitored.

Wanna help? Start out by watching the video and learning more. Then, consider making a donation on line 28 of your N.C. State Income tax form.

Tax donations given to this fund can be matched with federal money and other grants, so your donations could mean two to three times more conservation work gets accomplished on the ground.

Tax check-off donations are the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s largest and most significant source of funding to help nongame wildlife — animals like songbirds, amphibians, mammals and freshwater mussels and fish — not only survive but thrive in a state where wild lands are disappearing rapidly.

Nongame wildlife are those species that are not hunted or fished. More than 1,000 nongame species call the Tarheel state home. Many animals, such as box turtles, treefrogs and songbirds, are common and can be found right in your backyard. Others, such as sea turtles, Carolina northern flying squirrels and red-cockaded woodpeckers, are endangered and need conservation before they disappear from our state’s landscape.

Are you an early bird whose taxes are done? There are other ways to give. You can make a contribution to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund by registering your vehicle or trailer with a N.C. Wildlife Conservation license plate or you can donate online quickly and easily.


More information about the Wildlife Diversity Program, including projects and annual reports, is available here.

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