The November/December issue of the Tennessee Conservationist magazine is now in the hands of subscribers and it includes my article on bird banding--Tracking the Birds of Seven Island Wildlife Refuge. What a delight to see this article in print, a culmination of over a year of research, co-ordination, and the best part--participation in bird banding at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge.
Below, you can read the introduction to the article which features information about how the refuge is helping grassland birds, and how banding is not only telling us about the birds on the refuge, but contributing to a wider knowledge of bird populations.
In the pre-dawn darkness, a cluster of small glowing head lamps slowly fans out in all directions on a river peninsula in east Knox County, TN. Field Sparrows, Eastern Bluebirds, and Indigo Buntings sing as mist nets are erected prior to the day's first light. In July this occurs around 5:30 a.m., the rising sun bathing the fields in rose gold just as the first net-run takes place at 6:40. When there is no breeze stirring or cloud cover, banding team members expect to face rising heat and humidity as the morning progresses.
Winter banding sessions call for mittens, caps, layered clothing, hot drinks and chemical hand warmers for comfort, and even then, finger tips numb before the first bird is processed. Yet, none of these discomforts dampen the enthusiastic spirit of banding activities conducted year-round at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge (SIWR).
Established through the vision and generosity of the Pete Claussen family through their Seven Islands Foundation, SIWR is a 360-acre nature preserve and wildlife refuge located on the Kelly Bend peninsula of the French Broad River. Bordering three miles of the river, the refuge's mission includes the restoration of native warm-season grasses, the enhancement of riparian and wetland areas and habitat diversification for the benefit of wildlife species, all under the watchful planning and direction of natural resource advocate and land manager, Wayne Schacher. In addition to light recreational activity for the public, including nature trails and a small boat ramp for kayaks and canoes, the refuge offers educational and research opportunities. Partnering with members of the Knoxville Chapter of the Tennessee Ornithological Society to conduct bird banding studies is just one of the many on-going research activities taking place on the refuge.
TN Conservationist Magazine
More about the TN Conservationist and about bird-banding at Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge in this blog. You may also want to visit the Seven Islands Wildlife Refuge website.
A visit with birds at Dockweiler Beach, CA
The endangered El Segundo blue butterfly
A review of Ghost Birds, by Stephen Lyn Bales
The proposed sandhill crane hunt in Tennessee
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.