Many of us were disappointed when we heard that there would be limited or possibly no bird banding this spring at Presque Isle due to budgetary constraints. Banding has been going on at the park for many years now, most recently under the auspices of the Important Bird Area (IBA) program for Western PA under the direction of Dr. Sarah Sargent, IBA Coordinator for Western PA. The data collected during the banding process is an important tool in tracking trends in both migratory and local bird populations.
Additionally, kind of like the barbershop or cafe in the city, the banding station had become a “hangout” and social center at the park where birders and others interested in the goings on at the park congregated and caught up with one another. Had banding really been disbanded, where would we have gone? What would we do?
Luckily some funds were found and bird banding is being accomplished again this spring! Our illustrious bander for spring 2012 is Walt Wehjte, Ph.D., a very knowledgeable and eloquent bander who’s always ready to share his wealth of knowledge with visitors to the banding station and volunteers.
It’s no surprise to know that Walt has spent some time in front of a college classroom. He also writes a really mean blog post which I highly recommend you check out here. So the data is being collected and we still have a place to hang out and “chat”.