Gardeners get in touch with local birds

Emily Thomas delighted Warren Garden Club members at the June meeting with her talk and PowerPoint show entitled “Getting in Touch with Birds.” Thomas, a wildlife technologist, is very enthusiastic about bird banding experiences in the name of science. She graduated from Penn State University where she started a student bird banding platform. Today she is employed by the USDA Forest Service stationed at Irvine.

Bird banding began in 1595 when falcons were first banded. In 1809 J.J. Audubon banded Eastern Phoebes using string tied to the legs. Today aluminum rings are attached to the bird’s leg. Last year, 64 million banded birds were recorded.

Since the Migratory Treaty Act, a permit is needed to band birds. Birds are banded to study their population, life span, survival and productivity. Migration patterns are determined by following the flight of banded birds. Banding helps the study of bird diseases and regulating game bird hunting.

Thomas has been a leader in MAPS a bird banding study taking place at the Jamestown Audubon. It is a nationwide study to determine the productivity and survivorship of the local land bird population and determine reasons for changes.

Louise Dyer, chairperson for the Garden Club Flower Show, urged all members to participate in either the design display or the horticulture specimen category. The show will be held on Thursday, July 25, at the Jefferson DeFrees Family Center from 1 3 p.m. It is open to the public free of charge. An informative club meeting will take place at the same time with the show judges critiquing the displays.