Bird Banding, 1

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

Today we are in the process of trying to catch some birds.

Craig Hensley is a park specialist at Guadalupe River State Park and Honey Creek State Natural Area. He’s a certified bird bander who catches birds for research and education.

In the winter time at the park, we catch the birds at a bird feeding station we set up, and then we identify what they are. Try to age and sex them: male/female, are they a young bird or an older bird? Then we put a small metal bracelet, if you will, on the bird that they wear for the rest of their life and has a unique number, almost like our social security number, and it identifies that bird from all of the other birds of that kind anywhere it travels.

When banded birds are caught, identified and released in other locations, their individual movements can be recorded, which provides insight on birds’ lifeways.

Ultimately, it teaches us things about the longevity of birds, migration patterns, and with all the things going on with our climate these days, that’s one way to figure out if the birds are changing what they’re doing, because that’s a good indication of what might be going on a grander scale.

Craig Hensley hosts bird banding demonstrations at the park. Hear about them tomorrow.

More bird banding information is on our website:

That’s our show for today…with research and writing help from Sarah Loden…we produce the show with a grant from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration program

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Birding Opportunities in Texas

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