PI 100: Bird Banding

PI 365

Most people know that Erie is found near the connection to Interstates 79 and 90.

What you may not know is that Erie is also a crossroads for literally millions of migratory songbirds.

For more than 60 years, a small group on the Peninsula is charged with watching the, twice a year, migration of songbirds, from south to north, then back again from North to South, banding some of the birds to keep track.

Originally part of the Audobon Society, the group reformed as the Erie Bird Observatory in 2018.

“There has been bird banding, migratory song bird banding going on here at the park since 1960. What does that make it? 61 years now,” said Sarah Sargent, Executive Director of the Erie Bird Observatory.

The work gives a deeper understanding of the drives that sends these birds on a twice-annual quest that can cover hundreds of miles between the breeding grounds of the north and the warmer climes of the south.

“It’s just an amazing process and here we are sitting here in Erie, sitting here at 42° latitude, which is halfway but all the different species of birds in their breeding grounds and all their summer grounds.” Sargent said.

Human traffic cops for the bird world, right here at Presque Isle State Park.

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