Today we visited the bird banding station at the Crown Point Bird Conservation Area on Lake Champlain, New York. The Bird Conservation Area is part of the Crown Point State Historic Site in Essex County and is located at the tip of Crown Point peninsula. Jutting northward into Lake Champlain and bordered on the west by Bulwagga Bay, the peninsula serves as a natural migrant trap, especially in spring.
We watched Master Bander Mike Peterson remove a House Wren from the mist nets.
We watched the banding, sexing, and measuring of a Lincoln's Sparrow.
Banders Mike Peterson and Gordon Howard operate the Crown Point Banding Station, which has been in operation since 1976.
In those 32 years, they have banded 13,422 birds of 97 different species. In 2006, they banded 870 birds of 63 different species, including 22 warbler species. So far this year, they have banded 61 species, including 20 warbler species. The most common bird so far has been the Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Most of the birds they net are on their spring migration to the boreal forests of Canada.
To find out more about the Crown Point Banding Station, listen to a 22 minute radio documentary called "Ring 'em and Fling 'em" that was aired on WRPI-Troy. Or watch this 2 1/2 minute video that shows Mike removing a bird from a mist net (scroll to bottom, "How Birds are Banded" > Play Video).
The Crown Point banding station is open from dawn to dusk daily and closes Memorial Day. It is a great activity for the family and for school or youth groups. If you can't make it up there for the 2007 season, calendar it for a 2008 visit.
Our thanks to Mike and Gordon for being such great hosts and for the work they do to protect and understand birds.