This long-term songbird migration project began on Creamer’s Field Migratory Waterfowl Refuge in the fall of 1992. It is the longest running passerine research project in the state of Alaska. Banding occurs during spring and fall migration where approximately 4,500 birds are captured and banded each year. Age and sex of each bird is recorded along with physical data (fat, mass, breeding condition). This information provides a window into changes in bird populations in Interior Alaska, including timing of migration, breeding, and overall productivity.
Volunteers are essential to the project, and they assist with all aspects of the scientific process. Our Science Advisory Committee consists of volunteer scientists who assist with the development and monitoring of long-term projects and goals. Community volunteers, including youth, are active participants in field work including retrieving birds from mist nets, recording and proofing data, managing equipment, educating visitors, and training new volunteers.
Up to 3,500 people visit the station each year including about 80 school groups. Students learn about our scientific methods and process, the ecology of passerines, migration, and conservation concerns.
Independent visitors are always welcome to drop in for a visit. Groups are asked to call and schedule ahead of time. Banding is weather dependent and the schedule is subject to change. It’s always a good bet to call ahead: (907) 888-2121.