Monitoring & Banding
"Those little nimble musicians of the air, that warble forth their curious ditties..." — Izaak Walton
The Tennessee River Gorge Trust is conducting a long-term monitoring and banding program on Trust properties in the Tennessee River Gorge. The Trust Avian Field Technicians are conducting ongoing audiovisual surveys in conjunction with banding sessions. They will be working to update and standardize their methods of survey technique in order to better help the Trust understand population trends in the years to come. Knowing population numbers and the condition of the birds captured, the Trust can use this information to manage the forest to best serve our local breeding birds.
Would you like to visit the Bird Observatory or volunteer to help the bird researchers? Here are a few things to consider when Visiting the Bird Observatory.
Who's banding our birds?
Peter worked 34 years with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He began working at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland as an animal caretaker working with endangered Whooping cranes, Mississippi sandhill cranes, Andean condor, Hispaniola parrot, and Seaside sparrows. He also served as a volunteer bird bander at the U.S. Bird Banding Laboratory for six years. Peter was later employed as a Biological Technician serving on four different National Wildlife Refuges within the Southeast Region. He worked primarily with endangered species including Red-cockaded woodpecker, Red wolf, and Loggerhead sea turtle. The last 17 years of Peter's career was spent at the Wassaw National Wildlife Refuge on the Georgia coastline. While there, his primary focus was devoted to a long-term study of Painted buntings.
Peter is a native to Tennessee. He started banding here in his early teens and continues to this day. With more than 18 years experience operating Avian Productivity Survivorship banding stations, he has banded tens of thousands of birds in his lifetime comprising over 200 species in North America and Puerto Rico! Peter and his wife live in Kingsport, TN while their son attends college in Savannah, GA.
Dwight worked for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for 36 years at locations throughout the southeast. From 2001 until his retirement in 2016, he served as the Project Leader at Wheeler NWR Complex, a group of seven national wildlife refuges spread over 12,500 square miles of northern Alabama. His interests include migratory bird management, connecting people with nature and birding. He holds a B.S. in Biology from Athens State University and a M.S. in Zoology and Wildlife from Mississippi State University. He and his wife Deb are both native Alabamians.