Important Bird Areas Program
Bird Banding Information
Thank you for your interest in bird banding! In order to maximize your enjoyment and safety, as well as the safety of our birds and data, please read this information in order to prepare for a successful outing.
There are no facilities at either site, short of bushes and trees. Please bring adequate water for 6-8 hours in the field, and consider bringing snacks. Both sites are grasslands with minimal shade, so I recommend using sunscreen and long pants. A visored hat can be helpful. If you choose to use bug spray or sunscreen, you must apply it before you leave your home, so that you can wash it off your hands. We cannot expose birds or banding equipment to these kinds of chemicals.
We MOST need help at the very beginning and end of the day, when we set up and take down nets. So while company is welcome at any time, we especially appreciate those who can arrive on time and/or stay to the very end. If you visit Panola, you must arrive on time, since I am not allowed to give out the gate code, and the banding station is about 1 mile in.
Bird nets are hard to see and easy to destroy. If something on your body snags the net as you walk by, it will cause a very large hole in the net. Please wear clothing with minimal zippers, buttons or Velcro on the outside. Remove watches and any jewelry which can catch a net. As you walk by nets, please give a LOT of space to the net, especially if someone is removing a bird. A good rule of thumb is to leave 2 feet between you and the net, so you won’t catch the net if the wind blows it towards you.
While only experienced individuals are allowed to remove a bird from a net, we have lots of important (if less exciting) tasks for all participants. This may include carrying gear, holding a bag with a bird in it, taking notes for the bander, etc. If you come, you’ll be put to work! In the interest of keeping our birds safe, please do not touch any bird without prior approval of the bander.
Our stations are run exclusively by volunteers, and our equipment and supplies are obtained through donations, grants and “roadside shopping” (we recycle many things!) So much of our stuff is ugly, but serviceable. Some kind people have asked what kind of donations we can use. Suggestions include: hand sanitizer, rope of the sort which we use, plastic stakes, folding chairs which can be left outside, sewn bird bags, and, of course, cash. We need to replace the shelter at Panola. If you know of a serviceable shelter that is available for free or very cheap, please let us know.
Directions to Bird Banding Locations
To the study site at Joe Kurz WMA (an Important Bird Area) in
To the banding site at Panola Mountain State Park (Rockdale
County) from the south:
To Panola from the north: Take I-285 to route 155 south. Look for and pass the main park entrance on the left, then take the next left on Alexander Lake Road, as above.
Funding for this banding station is assisted by a grant from Georgia Ornithological Society. An additional GOS grant is helping to restore native plants to the area.
For more information on the MAPS program, visit the Institute for Bird Populations at www.birdpop.org
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