MAPS Songbird Population Study
MAPS - Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship - is a continent-wide breeding season study started in 1989 by the Institute for Bird Populations in Point Reyes, California. About 400-450 stations operate nation-wide in any given year.
Sanctuary volunteers and staff initiated the Jug Bay monitoring program in 1990, making our bird banding station one of the oldest, continuously operating stations in the MAPS program. Every summer during the breeding season we operate 14 mist nets in our study plot in order to capture songbirds which we identify to species and then determine their age and sex. We make standard measurements of wing cord and weight for each bird, and place a USFWS band on the leg of each bird so we can identify it if we capture it again. We have banded over 2,500 birds to date.
See Michael Kircher's photographs of the Jug Bay MAPS operation.
Volunteers who help with this study learn how to operate mist nets, remove songbirds from the nets, and learn how to collect measurement data, and to identify and sex dozens of species of songbirds. (print-friendly description)
Please Note: Banding occurs from late May through July. Participation for new volunteers is limited to observing, and we can only accept a very limited number of volunteers on each banding day. Please call for the schedule and to reserve a spot. 410-741-9330.