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March 8, 2024

Thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Patuxent, the BBL Banding Station received some much needed upgrades.

While the station has been in operation for 40 years, the existing processing structure is nearly 20 years old. It was solely a small wooden structure with a roof but no walls that could only fit a few banders at a time with no room for outside volunteers or guests. “We owe a huge thanks to the Friends of Patuxent for their contribution to the new banding station. Our old station was so dilapidated and small. It was near ready to collapse,” said Matthew Rogosky, a biologist with the BBL.

Several people sit at a table under a wooden roof banding birds.
This is the banding station used by BBL for years before the recent upgrades. 

With the recent addition of a pavilion, picnic tables and a large shed, the new banding station is on its way to becoming the banding station of the future. “With this new pavilion and banding shed, we'll be able to showcase this project and the work of the Bird Banding Lab to larger visiting groups in a more professional and safer environment for all,” said Rogosky.

A large red-wood shed with large barn like doors.
A large shed is part of the new bird banding station. It will serve as a more private place for banding and storage.
People sit and stand around a picnic table under a reddish-wood pavilion
The new pavilion and tables at the BBL Bird banding station. 

The new banding station is more reflective of the national and world-renowned expertise that the USGS EESC Bird Banding Laboratory is noted for. It will have electricity, internet, and streaming capabilities to connect BBL staff to other banders across the world. “Internet is critical for many things,” said Dr. Celis-Murillo. “Communicating and connecting in real-time with partners or collaborators enhances our experience and development of better banding procedures.”

A larger and improved banding station opens-up opportunities to become close with the local banding community.  With space for visitors, the banding station can host more volunteers. While the banding team is currently doing its work in the pavilion, the shed will become the banding area with room for visitors to observe but not interrupt the banding process. The station will not only be a place for work but for learning with posters of birds and educational displays outside highlighting the value of migration bird banding at Patuxent Research Refuge.


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