Bird Banding Program Coming to Fiddler’s Creek Preserve

On select Sunday mornings in June, visitors to the Fiddler’s Creek Preserve in Titusville will experience a “behind-the-nets” look at an active field research project. Bird in the Hand: Songbird Banding Program will take place on Sunday, June 5, 19 and 26, from 8 to 10 a.m. Visitors will learn about the research taking place and see wild birds up-close as they are banded, measured and released.

A member of the Mercer County Park Commission’s Naturalist staff will act as a host to the guests by interpreting the banding process, as well as answering questions about the purpose, goals and importance of conservation projects of this nature. As part of the research taking place, wild birds will be gently and safely captured in delicate nets by a licensed bird bander and ornithologist. While the birds are in hand, the Naturalist staff will share information about each species’ identification, behavior and ecology, and guests will get to see these beautiful creatures up close before they are released. This program emphasizes the importance of science to conservation and land stewardship.

The Fiddler’s Creek Preserve is the Mercer County Park Commission’s youngest reforestation area. Volunteers and staff planted trees and shrubs in fall 2012. As the reforestation area grows into forest, regular monitoring of the plant and bird community is important. Birds are considered an indicator species. Their presence, or lack thereof, is directly related to habitat type and quality. As the recently introduced plants and trees emerge to change the vegetation composition, the bird species frequenting the area should also change and develop. The bird banding program will monitor the dynamics of the preserve’s bird community. Species previously banded include field and song sparrows, common yellowthroat, indigo bunting, bobolink and many others.

This program requires registration and children over 6 years old are welcome. Please be aware this program is held in a field; shelter and restrooms will not be available. Fee is $20 per adult, $10 per child. For more information and to register, please call 609-888-3218 or e-mail natureprograms@mercercounty.org.

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