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Bird Banding Coming to Chadron State Park, Wildcat Hills

Melanie Mancuso of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory examines a red crossbill that was captured at a bird banding station at the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area in August 2013. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

Melanie Mancuso of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory examines a red crossbill that was captured at a bird banding station at the Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area in August 2013. (NEBRASKAland/Justin Haag)

The public is invited to get up-close and personal with bird populations at two parks in the Nebraska Panhandle this fall.

During the coming month, banding stations will be operating at Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area near Gering and Chadron State Park near Chadron. The public is invited to join the bird-banders during two special sessions, Saturday, Aug. 30, at Chadron and Saturday, Sept. 13, at Wildcat Hills.

Attendees of the informational sessions will watch as biologists retrieve birds from nets, collect data, and fit each with a lightweight metal leg band before releasing it back to the wild.

The banding stations will be at the Sawmill Shelter at Chadron and the Nature Center at Wildcat Hills. Both events will be 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and are free of charge. The event at Wildcat Hills is part of the Nature Center’s Wildcat Weekends series of educational activities.

In addition to the public events, the researchers are offering programs for school groups that make arrangements between Sept. 2 and Oct. 3. Those events are targeted to students in kindergarten through 12th grades, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

More information may be obtained by contacting Alexandra Mayes at alexandra.mayes@rmbo.org or 308-783-1019.

The bird banding stations are administered by the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, and cosponsored by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission and the Nebraska Environmental Trust.

About Justin Haag, Regional Editor/PIO

Justin Haag serves the Panhandle as a NEBRASKAland’s Regional Editor and Public Information Officer for the Commission. Haag was raised in southwestern Nebraska, where he developed a love for fishing and hunting. After earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Chadron State College in 1996, he worked four years as an editor and reporter at newspapers in Chadron and McCook. Prior to joining the Commission in 2013, he worked 12 years as a communicator at Chadron State, serving as the institution’s media and public relations coordinator the last five. He and his wife, Cricket, live in Chadron, and enjoy introducing their two children to the many outdoor recreational opportunities of the Pine Ridge region.

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