February 2019

Vol. 47, No. 1

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Banding Station

Regina Harrison

A Magnolia Warbler held in a classic bander's grip, displaying its new leg band. All photographs by Pauliina Swartz.

Early morning sunlight dapples through the brushy woods as I walk along a narrow path. Eastern Towhees extol the virtues of tea and Gray Catbirds meow almost incessantly, while warblers, finches, and sparrows chip sociably to their companions. The woods of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge (PRNWR) are dense with life in spring and fall as birds prepare for or pause in their migrations to feast on Plum Island's bounty of fruits, seeds, and insects. The concentration of so many species in one place creates an ideal location for a banding station, and the path on which I walk is laced with mist nets, nearly invisible in the sunlight.

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