2014-08-07 / Nature

Bird Banding Project

Bird banding programs are typically implemented across the nation during spring and fall migration cycles. These live capture-and-release projects assist ornithologists and biologists in determining species populations, migration routes, and nesting ranges. They also help assess the environmental impact on migrating birds from habitat loss, insecticide use, and environmental shifts brought on by climate change. Newport County has been the site of three comprehensive songbird banding programs conducted by Salve Regina University in the past two years.

Recent observations of migratory Ruddy Turnstone flocks at Brenton Point State Park revealed a small number of banded birds. Ruddy Turnstones breed and nest high in the Arctic tundra and muskeg of northern Alaska and Nunavut, and they winter along both coasts of the United States, as well as on the Gulf Coast and south into Mexico and Central America.

Photos and tag numbers were submitted to bandedbirds.org and results indicated that the birds were tagged in the Delaware Bayshore area of New Jersey in 2008 and 2012.

Reports of tag sightings by birdwatchers and scientists assist in understanding the many complex issues faced by avian migrants.

As fall migration begins along the Atlantic Flyway, local birders are urged to report any band sightings and to document with photos if possible. For more information, visit bandedbirds.org.

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