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Bird Banding

Bird banding
The Idea

The primary goal of this Education Program is to provide families living within the Upper Clark Fork River Basin a Bird’s-Eye View of the effects of past mining activities and of current restoration projects aimed at repairing mining related damages. This program is unique because it takes place during the summer months and targets both children and adults. Through this program generously funded by Natural Resources Damage Program, participants are invited to observe birds up close at our banding stations, learn about Montana’s riparian birds, and interact directly with biologists collecting scientific data on bird communities – thus it represents an opportunity for citizens to take part in the process of science.


Our banding stations are free and open to the public so if you are interested in what we do, contact Megan Fylling or Kristina Smucker for specific banding dates or weather information. Be aware that flooding is an issue during this early season banding, so check with us on the conditions beforehand.


2014 BEVEP Banding Schedule (DOC)
2014 BEVEP Banding Schedule (PDF)


The Results

In 2011 we ran 3 bird banding stations, which included Rock Creek and Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site banding stations, and a new station at MPG Ranch near Florence. These are all run as part of the MAPS program in coordination with the Institute for Bird Populations, where all our data have been submitted. Our top five captures differed somewhat to those in 2010 and included: Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, and Gray Catbird. We were able to band a total of 720 birds this summer!



Pileated Woodpecker, Fernando Villasenor photo Calliope Hummingbird, Fernando Villasenor photo Red-naped Snapsucker, Garrett MacDonald photo



Project Osprey

Since 2010, we have been partnered up with Project Osprey! Project Osprey is a cooperative project aiming to monitor Ospreys and their breeding success and health in western Montana. This project is run between collaborators of the University of Montana, Erick Greene and Heiko Langner, and Rob Domenech of Raptor View Research. Click on their names to find out more about their involvement with Project Osprey and other research.


Throughout the course of the project we have banded over 250 ospreys in western Montana for our long-term monitoring program!


Click here for real-time camera footage of missoula Osprey nests!


Find out why baling twine is a threat to Ospreys



Annual Reports for this project

Click here for the 2007 Final report

Click here for the 2010 Summary Report

Click here for the 2010 Annual report

Click here for the 2011 Final report



Montana DOJ Natural Resource Damage Program

MPG Ranch



Kristina Smucker or Megan Fylling



Kids love our BEVEP program -- can you tell?