About Us

Banding Team Members

Auburn Bird Banding Brochure

Our Photos              return to main page

Justin Dion's Photos  Click Here

Tom Donaldson Memorial Page Under Construction (including photo's by Tom and and Steph) Click Here.

Gary Hetel's Photos, including the handsome guy himself, Click Here.

Mattie VandenBoom and Jorden Straub's photo's, Click Here.

Joe's (Carlos) photos, Click Here.

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Steve Vincent has some very cool photos.  Click HERE to view these photos.

John Paul Livingstone's Photos, Click HERE.

Raptor Informational Session, Click HERE.

Mary Sharkey's Website,   Click Here

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Our Records  by Keith MacAdams and Dr. Reich

2010 Captures  posted 1-3-11

Record Archives

2009 Captures

2008 Captures

2007 Captures

2006 Captures

2005 Captures

2004 Captures

2003 Captures

2002 Captures

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Our Research

Exciting info concerning our tick research from Mr. Blazis: 

We're back to heavy-duty research, now that we have re-established ties with scientists who have the capability of sophisticated analysis of Lyme disease-causing bacteria, which we can provide through our captures.  For newcomers, I first thought there might be a connection between migrating birds and the rapid spread of Lyme disease way back in the early '90's when I was banding alone.  I began by sending my specimens to Dr. Peter Rand at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine, which back then was one of the only tick-bird research centers in the world.  Their focus was on disease-causing agents affecting people in Maine, so, although they worked with me, I knew it would be best to involve scientists in Massachusetts to work with me on the project.  I contacted Dr. Richard Pollack and his research team at Harvard University's School of Public Health, and we began a collaboration that lasted for several years, with me providing tick specimens both from birds and from native wild mice.  Harvard School of Public Health has a world-wide focus, and my specimens sometimes were not as important as an outbreak of Ebola in Africa, for example.  I chose to contact the most local scientists, for whom the relevance of my research would be even more important.  Consequently, for several years, now with Auburn assistants, I provided specimens to Dr. Steven Rich of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine.  The collaboration was a natural, until Dr. Rich left for other research opportunities.  We continued, during this hiatus, analyzing which species of birds carry the ticks, and in what proportions.  With  new partners fully capable of sophisticated genetic analysis of the pathogenic bacteria, Dr. Maria Duik-Wasser and Dr. Anne Gatewood, Yale University,  we are once again resuming our original and primary focus. 

Lyme Disease Studies


                  by     Mark M. Blazis, Research Director 

This weekend and each weekend before the hunting season starts and mid-October, the Auburn Sportsman's Club, on Elm St. in Auburn, is the focus of an intense, pioneering birdbanding study of potentially national significance, capturing neotropical migrants as they fly back to their jungle, winter homes in the tropics of the Caribbean, Central, and South America.  The Auburn Birdbanding Research Station collaborates with Dr. M.A. Diuk Wasser from the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health.  Together, we are concerned both with bird populations and the spread of Lyme disease.  Our focus is the spread of ticks, especially different strains of one particular species, Ixodes scapularis, that will attach to and parasitize brush, shrub, and grass-inhabiting birds.  Very little is known about the genetic make-up of the different strains of bacteria (Borrelia bergdorferi) in these ticks.  Our research team carefully extracts the immature ticks, usually from the birds' skin around their eyes and the corners of their mouths, preserving them in alcohol to later be microscopically and genetically studied at the Yale Medical School labs.  Not all species of ticks are dangerous.  The species which is dangerous in our region has a very distinct, cork-screw, sperm-like tail.  Certain strains of this particular bacteria may prove more frequent in birds than those in mice, for example.  Some strains may prove to be more dangerous/pathogenic to humans, and if so, this study could prove very relevant to public health up and down the East Coast.  Students and members of the community are welcome to visit the research station beginning at 7:30 each weekend morning, when opportunities to observe, photograph, hold, and release processed birds is possible, under the supervision of federally-permitted staff.  Staff has taken promising students and adults, teaching them research protocols and involving them in the actual research project.  The opportunity is a valuable one for anyone in the community looking to become involved in serious scientific/medical research and the study of migratory birds.    

Captured Birds with Ticks:  Listings and Percentages

What is Lyme Disease?

West Nile Virus Research:  In conjunction with the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine

Saw-whet Owl Project

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