|The peak of bird research at Riveredge coincides with the spring migration. The Birdathon/Bandathon in mid May kicks off the start of the birding/banding season. The object of this event is to count and/or band as many species of birds as possible on the property during a 24-hour period.
Started here in 1999, the MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) national banding program uses “constant effort mist-netting” to provide annual estimates of post-fledgling productivity, adult survivorship, and the population size for both resident and migrant bird species. Our site covers about 10 hectares and banding occurs over the course of seven ten-day periods throughout the summer. (Get an update on the MAPS program here at Riveredge).
Looking for more info on the MAPS program across the country? Click Here.
A trail of 25 bluebird boxes is also monitored weekly from April to September. The purpose of the trail is to increase the production of bluebirds and other cavity-nesting birds on the property. Data has been collected at Riveredge since 1980 and analyzed to determine such things as habitat management, box design, or the best box placement options.
The Natural Areas Breeding Bird Survey has been done here since the late 1980’s. Its purpose is to determine breeding bird densities along Riveredge Creek four times during June & July.
The year is brought to a close by another annual tradition, the Christmas Bird Count. From dawn ‘til dusk teams of birders count winter birds in the field or at their feeders. Results of the count are used to study the effects of seed crop fluctuations, weather, and the influence of humans on bird populations.