Pete Marra and Tim Guida of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center

Last fall the NZP Bird House team had the pleasure of participating in a bird banding demonstration led by Pete Marra and Tim Guida of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. The Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center researches the ecology, evolution and conservation of migratory birds. They also sponsor Neighborhood Nestwatch, a community based science outreach program which encourages volunteers to monitor and document birds in their own back yards.  
The Smithsonian team demonstrated the process of bird banding for the design team. Birds are collected so scientists can document data on each bird including its size, weight and skull ossification. A feather is collected from each bird to be analyzed by scientists to aide in toxicology and disease research. A tiny, lightweight, colored band is placed around the birds leg to help others track the bird as well.  

Alyson Steele documents a woodpecker

Our very own Alyson Steele helped document a woodpecker from Rock Creek Park.

Want to see a bird banding demonstration up close? Join the Smithsonian scientists at Bird Fest 2015 this Saturday May 9 at the Smithsonian Institute National Zoological Park.