What is the average air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
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Feb 2014 Update:
We will inspect the birdbanding lanes late in winter to see which have sustained any damage. We will begin to setup the lanes in late March or early April. If we need any help, we will send out word to those on our list, and will announce when the banding program will open.
The story behind the Auburn Bird Banding Research Station
Mark and Helen Blazis admire a rare Lawrence's Warbler
Under the tutelage of dedicated teachers, Mark and Helen Blazis, the students of Auburn, Massachusetts have been given a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with many species of migrating song birds. Mr. Blazis, a retired Science Teacher at the Auburn Middle School, is a former National Science Teacher of the Year. Students from the Auburn schools assist Mr. and Mrs. Blazis, and several other volunteers, who have included Dr. Richard Weagle, Keith, Kim, and Garrett MacAdams, Dr. Larry, Sarah, and the late Marcia Reich, Gary and Jill Hetel, Jim, Pauline, Brian and David Sheridan, the late Tom Donaldson, Stephanie Donaldson, Lois Kolofsky, Stephen and Audrey Vincent, Mattie VandenBoom, the Sharkey sisters, Joan and Mary, and Justin and Ken Dion in banding over 2,000 birds a year. The children are taught to respect, identify, and process birds. The processing of these birds include weighing, measuring the wing chord, and placing a sequentially numbered metal band around the captive bird's leg. The bands are supplied by the United States Geological Survey to Master Banders across North America. Mr. Blazis, one of only approximately 500 Master Banders in the United States, Outdoorsman and Naturalist, frequently refers to the captive neo-tropical birds as "jungle jewels." Truly this is no exaggeration. The many different species of birds including warblers, wrens, towhees, flycatchers, sparrows, and kinglets, shine in the morning sun, much to the delight of all the volunteers. Occasionally a rare find, such as the Lawrence's Warbler, sends everyone scrambling for their cameras. The banding station consists of picnic tables set up on the porch of the Sportsman's Club and mist nets set up on the grounds of the Auburn Sportsman's Club. The Club graciously and generously allows these volunteers to use their facilities and grounds in support of the team's research. This banding station is unique in this country, being on the Sportsman's Club land, it is a free, open-classroom for the students of the entire community, as well as for environmentalists. This is what sets the Auburn Bird Banding Program apart from every other program: sportsmen and environmentalists, working together for the benefit of kids, schools, town, wildlife, and ultimately the preservation of open space.
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Weird Bird Facts by Mattie VandenBoom
photo by Dr. Larry Reich
The Northern Waterthrush is not a thrush, it is a large Warbler. After hatching the chicks grow so quickly that
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Weird Bird Fact Archive
The answer to the 30 year old question "What is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" is: Flight speeds of birds are difficult to measure and verify, Estimates for maximum speed of swallows is probably 40 to 50 mph. (Terres. Audubon Society Encyclopedia of North American Birds)
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