Over two weekends in late March and early April, a basic bander training session was held at the First Landing station. Nine recent college graduates, current undergraduates and graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue ornitholigical research attended the session. They came from Virginia Commonwealth University, William and Mary, Old Dominion and Central Michigan University.
The session provided an opportunity for each participant to observe, practice and discuss the skills necessary to capture, handle, identify, age, sex, measure and evaluate the general condition of passerines and near-passerines. While the weather was a bit on the cool side and bird numbers were not high, each student banded and handled a number of birds and learned how a seasonal, migratory banding station operates.
The session could not have taken place without the support and assistance of First Landing State Park and CVWO volunteers. All involved seemed to enjoy and benefit from the experience; it is likely that another session will be held in 2010.