Visitor Center Expansion
The Point Reyes Bird Observatory Visitor Center expansion increases the information available to the public about birds, conservation efforts and interpretive programs. The observatory works year-round with students and the public to enhance their understanding of bird and wildlife conservation efforts in the hope of inspiring new generations to be effective stewards of the environment. Its scientists conduct research on birds and the area’s ecosystems with an eye toward protecting and enhancing the biodiversity of the area.
$30,000 plus $30,000 in local matching funds.
The observatory, founded in 1965 as the first organization of its kind in the United States, has grown to become an internationally recognized conservation science organization.
A Bird in the Hand
How long do birds live? How much do they weigh? Where do they migrate to and from? How long does it take them to migrate? All good questions, and all answered as a result of bird banding studies undertaken by organizations such as the PRBO Conservation Science (formally known as Point Reyes Bird Observatory), located in Stinson Beach, California.
Each year, the ornithologists at PRBO band about 2,500 birds, and now, thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Pathways To Nature Conservation Fund, visitors can learn all about the process at the renovated banding station and visitor’s center.
When you hike along the “netting trail,” you’ll see the mist nets used to safely capture birds. Once the birds are gently removed from the nets by experienced handlers, you’ll return to the banding lab, where you can watch staff measure, weigh, age, and identify and release birds unharmed. Each bird receives a tiny metal leg band, inscribed with a unique number and instructions as to where to send information on the bird when it is recaptured. Seeing wild birds up close is an exciting experience, and you’ll be able to learn first hand how scientists study birds.
Be sure to hike the nature trail to search for specialties of the coastal scrub forest, including Bushtit, Wrentit, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and many others. To learn how to attract birds to your own property, be sure to check out the native plants that landscape the area surrounding the visitor’s center.
How birds migrate remains puzzling, but groups such as PRBO are learning more each day. Come visit and see for yourself how these scientists are unraveling one of nature’s greatest mysteries.
For more information, visit: www.prbo.org.
The Pathways To Nature Conservation Fund is a partnership between Wild Birds Unlimited stores and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to fund environmental education and wildlife viewing projects. We encourage all of our customers to visit these incredible places. Your patronage helped make these projects possible!