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Grassland Bird Project Looking for Volunteers

Borderlands Research Institute

BRI researchers using a mist net to capture and radio-tag grassland birds.

It is almost that time of the year again where we kick off our grassland bird captures!

The last two years were a huge success thanks to the help of more than 130 volunteers who contributed over 1,500 volunteer hours to bird captures. Over the last two years, we caught and radio-tagged more than 140 Baird’s and grasshopper sparrows that we followed throughout the winter to obtain information on their winter survival, spatial requirements, and habitat preferences. This year we will attempt to capture and radio-track another 60 birds, and you can be part of it!

Captures are not only lots of fun, you also get the opportunity to see the rare and cryptic Baird’s sparrow, and even release it after it has been banded and outfitted with a radio transmitter. You will also learn about grassland bird research and conservation in the field, how to capture birds using mist nests, and how birds are banded and monitored for research purposes.

The first captures take place from December 14-20 at the Mimms Ranch in Marfa, TX. You can participate one or multiple days and no prior experience is required. If you are interested, please send an email to bri@sulross.edu. If you cannot make it to the December captures, we will have another opportunity in late January and mid-March.

We are registering any and all volunteers, even if it is just for one day. Please join us in the field for a fun and educational outdoor experience!