Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory
The Kalamazoo Valley Bird Observatory (KVBO) has been using bird banding as a tool to help better understand migration patterns, longevity, dispersal, and stopover of both breeding and migrating birds at our two locations, the Kalamazoo Nature Center and Pitsfield Station, for over thirty years.
Coming up Next ... Christmas Bird Counts
Grab your binoculars for the 118th Annual Christmas Bird Count, organized by the National Audubon Society. As the nation’s longest-running citizen science bird project, this data is essential for assessing the health of bird populations and guiding management decisions across North America.
Join KNC in an organized excursion led by research staff, or observe on your own. To get involved with this important project, contact John Brenneman at (269) 381-1574 x30 or email@example.com.
Area Christmas Bird Count dates: Battle Creek: Saturday, December 15 | Dowagiac: Monday, December 17 | Allegan: Thursday, December 27 | Kalamazoo: Saturday, December 29 | South Kalamazoo: Tuesday, January 1 | Gobles: Thursday, January 3
Why Band Birds?
Banding birds allows researchers to track and monitor migration patterns as wells as population changes. In addition, birds are indicator species- they make ideal research subjects for looking at changes in the environment, such as changing climate. We work with and share this data with a multitude of different banding programs and institutions, tracking individual birds from state-to-state and even internationally.
Banding is done by meticulously trained and certified bird banders. Banding involves recording data such as weight, wing length, age, and sex. A small, light weight, band with a 9-digit code is then placed on the bird’s leg. Many studies show that the bird is not negatively effected in anyway by the band. Processing a bird takes less than one minute. The bird’s well being and stress reduction are top priority. If the bird is recaptured, we can gain valuable knowledge about how the bird traveled.