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DOS March Meeting: “Bird Banding at Rushton Woods: Reading Feathers to Advance Bird Conservation” by Blake Goll

March 20 @ 7:00 pm 9:00 pm EDT

To an ornithologist, monitoring the populations of birds is — quite literally —  taking the pulse of the environment.  The primary way to study bird populations today is through a traditional mark-release-recapture technique known as bird banding. The Willistown Conservation Trust began a federally licensed banding station in 2009 at Rushton Woods Preserve and Farm (RWPR) and has since banded over 18,000 birds of 103 species, from songbirds to owls.  In addition to revealing important information about species abundance and diversity found on our conserved land, bird banding at RWPR has helped us evaluate the impact of our land management initiatives as well as the value of preserving open space.

Learn about bird banding, listen to some of the stories of what we’ve discovered, and hear how our bird banding program has grown to include the latest in wildlife tracking technology.


Blake Goll is the Education Programs Manager at the Willistown Conservation Trust (WCT) since 2010. She has developed the Trust’s Rushton Nature Keepers program and curriculum for children, and provides other nature education and outreach programs for all ages. She also assists with the daily operations of WCT’s songbird banding and owl banding stations throughout banding season. Blake is a North American Banding Council (NABC) certified bird bander, a frequent contributor to the Trust’s digital content channels, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from Pennsylvania State University.