Wednesday, May 21, 2008

D. S. Birding Festival - Part I, Bird Banding

BirdFest-logo Last Saturday my family and I attended the Great Dismal Swamp Birding Festival, located in Suffolk, Virginia. Activities included guided bird walks, refuge tours, bird banding demonstrations, and more. My 3 year old daughter was especially excited about going to see the bird banding demonstration. All she talked about was getting close to a bird and being able to hold one. So, our first stop that morning was the bird banding station.

The the banding demonstration was located in an area known as the Jericho Ditch Trail. We enjoyed a 1/2 mile hike to it observing various wildlife on the way - this Green Heron.

Butterflies were noticeably active...


The plant life was appealing as well. Along the banks of the path were some beautiful ferns - like the one below:


Some wildflowers were still in bloom.IMG_0885


Our timing couldn't have been better. Just as we arrived at the banding station a bird crossed the path and flew right into one of the nets. It was a Gray Catbird.

IMG_0871 My daughter Morgan was so excited! The workers quickly and carefully removed the bird from the netting and did a thorough examination that included various measurements, weights, age assessment, etc. The demonstrators were employees of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF). They explained everything that they were doing and were very patient in answering all our questions. They even allowed Morgan to gently stroke the bird as they held it.


After all the data was collected and the band on, they carefully placed it in Morgan's hand. She was very excited, and a little nervous at the same time! IMG_0875

Once in her hand the catbird quickly took off. Morgan was thrilled. Her purpose for coming was fulfilled!

Next stop, "The Bus Tour" be continued...

1 comment:

Mary said...


Your little curly-haired daughter is so fortunate! Sweet post. I've been through Suffolk many times on my way to DE and MD. Away from urban sprawl...nice.

I spotted a Green Herson today (a lifer)! Your photo is much better than mine :o)

One of my goals to is witness bird banding - whenever life settles down. I really need to visit here more often. Very hectic this time of year...

Thanks for visiting me.