Friday, October 16, 2015

Banding on Jekyll Island

On October 14, I visited Jekyll Island Banding Station (JIBS).  JIBS has been around since the late 1970’s. The data that they gather has been invaluable to understand how migratory bird use Jekyll Island.  Over the years, the data show that the south end of Jekyll is so important to birds traveling along the coast. It offers food, water, and shelter for these birds. Palm Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, American Redstarts and Black-throated Blue Warblers are the main warblers that use this area in late September, but there are always surprises. Plus every year is different. 
 There were Tree Swallows swarming around the wax myrtles then dropping near the swallow water pools.

On the path to the station there were Western Palm Warblers feeding in the grasses.

I got to the station, and there was a Road Scholars Group listening to Charlie Muise was showing them some of the birds banded at the station. Here he is with a Blue-throated Blue Warbler female. He is a wealth of knowledge. I know these eager birders learned a lot about birds.
But these Road Scholar got another lesson when the folks studying snakes for the Georgia Sea Turtle Center.  They were very willing to add to the experience of this group. This habitat is important to a wide range of creatures and each creature is important in the habitat. 

Evan Pitman is the Master bander at the station. Here he is working with a Common Ground Dove.
Here is Evan is working with a Bay-breasted Warbler. This is a common bird at the station.
Heather Pitman is holding the Bay-breasted Warblers for record photos.

Meghan Davies is an Americorps Intern at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and on her days off she likes to go birding. She helped me with some plover work this summer. I told her about the station and she volunteered. She can now add this to her resume.
What fun to see this station continuing to add to our knowledge of this area.

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