The Buzz

A Bird's World

Eight Rhodes College biology students completing undergraduate research and Biology Professor, Dr. Michael Collins, recently used the Memphis Botanic Garden as a bird-banding field research site.  Over the course of a few days, in the sunrise hours of the morning, the group set up multiple 10’ nets to collect birds in different areas of the Garden.  Banding the birds helps researchers in other areas to see where certain birds have been and better understand migration patterns.

Netting and banding is conducted in as safe a manner as possible.  Nets are checked every 20 minutes when up and students are shown gentle net extraction and banding methods.  Once released, the birds go back to their normal activities. 

Birds netted and banded include: 88 individuals from 11 species. White-throated Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and American Robin were numerous. We also had Northern Mockingbird, Northern Cardinal, Brown Thrasher, Blue Jay, Mourning Dove, Northern Flicker, Fox Sparrow, and Hermit Thrush. Pictured above left is Rhodes senior Boomer Malanchuk with a Northern Flicker and above right is student Maggie Klusman holding a Brown Thrasher.

If you love birds or wildlife, don’t miss the “Bird-scaping” program this Saturday, May 10 from 11-2 pm.  Dr. Sloas, a local expert in native plantings for wildlife, will share how you can enjoy a greater diversity of birds to observe and reap potential cost-savings in yard maintenance and a smaller “carbon footprint”.  Nature photography, live raptors, and a tour of the Garden will be included with Senior Manager of Gardens, Chris Cosby.  The program is $5 for MBG members and $10 for non-members, with all proceeds benefiting the Memphis Botanic Garden’s educational and horticultural programming.  No reservations are necessary. 

Pictured below is Rhodes senior Sandra Videmsky holding a Blue Jay.

Posted by Charity Siebert at 2:10 PM


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