Bird Banding for Bird Conservation by Ornithologist Ian Stewart

Bird Banding Project

See Bird Banding of wild birds close up and learn how we’re helping learn about birds’ habits to understand what they need to survive and thrive.

Delaware Nature Society’s Bird Banding project is essential to helping bird populations thrive. We join the worldwide bird banding effort to help the study of birds’ habits to understand what they need.

Bird banding occurs April – December annually at Bucktoe Creek Preserve on Wednesdays, 8 am – 11 am.
Be aware that it doesn’t take place on days when it is too cold, windy, or rainy.

Birds Studied across Delaware through Our Bird Banding Project

Federally-licensed bird bander Ian Stewart began the project in June 2015. By November of that first year alone, he was able to capture and band 413 birds of 37 species. Many of these were free-flying adult and juvenile birds caught in mist-nets. Some birds banded were nestlings reared in the many bird boxes at Ashland Nature Center, Bucktoe Creek Preserve, Abbott’s Mill Nature Center, and Coverdale Farm Preserve.

Bird Banding project

Bird Banding project

Delaware Nature Society was fortunate to obtain funding from several generous donors to allow the project to continue. Through this project we have now banded over 5,500 birds of 80 species, including several unusual migrants like Marsh Wren, Mourning Warbler and Tennessee Warbler. Dozens of these banded birds have been recaptured between seasons or even years. Birds recaptured include Gray Catbirds returning each summer from their tropical wintering sites and Dark-eyed Juncos and White-throated Sparrows returning each winter from their breeding grounds in the far north. We also place color bands on Eastern Bluebirds to help a study that’s figuring out how faithful they are to their nest box between years and also whether they remain at Bucktoe Creek Preserve during winter.

Read the full study report and 3 related publications:

Stewart, I. and Sebastiani, J. (2015) Results from a bird banding pilot study at Ashland Nature Center and Bucktoe Creek Preserve. Delmarva Ornithologist. Vol 44, pages 15 – 21

Stewart, I. and Sebastiani, J. (2017) Occurrence of Black-capped Chickadees in Delaware during the winter of 2016-2017 together with a local banding record. Delmarva Ornithologist. Vol 46, pages 11 – 17

Stewart, I. and Sebastiani, J. (2017) Occurrence of ticks on birds banded in the Red Clay Valley. Delmarva Ornithologist. Vol 46, pages 59 – 69

Stewart, I and Sebastiani, J. (2019) An assessment of feather mite prevalence on mid-Atlantic birds and a call to banders. North American Bird Bander. Vol 44, pages 213-220