My interest in Bird Banding began in the late 1980’s during my second year of undergrad at a central Ohio college when introduced by my Biology professor as a field trip opportunity.
During and after my college days, I spent most of my free weekends traveling to banding stations around Ohio to absorb as much information and get as much experience as I could. Eventually I was ready to apply for a sub-permit to band birds in 1995 at a M.A.P.S. station. This was under the mentorship of a Master bander.
In 1998 I obtained my Master Banding Permit which allowed me to train others to become banders to start and operate their own research stations.
I was offered the opportunity to begin a bird banding research station at Gilmore Ponds Interpretive Preserve in Fairfield, OH by Mike Busam – then Chairperson of the Conservancy. Spring Migration banding was the proposed project. 2013 marks the 16th year of the project which now includes Fall migration banding research.
The bird banding data collected at Gilmore Ponds was instrumental in helping Gilmore Ponds earn the status of Important Bird Area by Audubon Ohio.
Over 16,000 birds have been banded by HBRC banders since I started in 1993. Compared to other, more active banders, this is a very small number of birds. Nonetheless, the data is just as important and useful.
Most recently, I obtained a permit to band Hummingbirds under the tutelage of Bob Sargent. This requires special training and there are only 4 licensed Hummingbird banders in Ohio and Indiana combined! There are only about 200 hummingbird banders in the U.S. compared to over 1000 passerine banders.