Biodiversity Research Institute
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Outreach and Education
Outreach and Education

River Point Wildlife Monitoring and Education

In 2011, Biodiversity Research Institute began a wildlife monitoring effort at River Point Conservation Area with the primary goal of establishing a migratory bird monitoring station. In collaboration with the Town of Falmouth, BRI biologists set up mist nets to capture birds, which are then banded for tracking purposes and released unharmed. Biologists make several measurements, such as weight and size, to assess the overall condition of the birds. In just a few years, researchers have banded thousands of songbirds, trained handfuls of interns, developed strong collaborations, and shared their work with over a thousand students and community members.

Thank You, Stella

THANK YOU, STELLA

1 August, 2017: Stella Walsh, a long-term volunteer at River Point Bird Observatory, passed away last week. Stella was a dedicated researcher who willingly shared her time and expertise with interns, bird banders, and birding enthusiasts throughout the state. Stella’s contributions were instrumental in allowing River Point to become a long-term research and monitoring station in southern Maine, and we will miss her presence dearly in the River Point barn. Thank you, Stella, for everything you’ve given us over the past six years. Migration seasons won’t be the same without you.

Migration Monitoring

Migration Monitoring

Monitoring migratory songbirds using mist nets offers a standardized way of counting birds and marking individuals. Operating the banding station allows us to contribute to the understanding of the timing, composition, and abundance of migratory birds at River Point during the spring and fall.
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Tracking Veery Migration Using Geolocators

Tracking Veery Migration Using Geolocators

Understanding the annual cycle and movements of species is critical for implementing effective conservation strategies. In 2013 BRI bagan a tracking study of Veeries that nest at River Point Conservation Area to determine their wintering areas and gain insight about their migration strategies. Funding from the Davis Conservation Foundation has provided the chance to share the amazing journeys of these birds.
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Southern Maine Nestbox Trail

Southern Maine Nestbox Trail

BRI staff and volunteers install and monitor nest boxes at River Point and other sites in southern Maine. Managing nest boxes provides important data about the nesting habitats for cavity nesting birds.  One focal species is the Tree Swallow, an aerial insectivore that has suffered declines over the past 30 years. Data is shared through The Cornell Lab of Ornithology's NestWatch portal.
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Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Maine Songbirds

With support from Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund BRI and partners at the Maine Medical Center Vector-borne Disease Lab and Centers for Disease Control to conducted a serosurvey of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Maine Songbirds. This work continues to provide baseline data about the prevalence of this mosqitoe-transmitted disease in Maine's songbirds.
International Migratory Bird Day

International Migratory Bird Day

BRI and our partners have the unique opportunity to share our research and conservation efforts with students, friends, and guests. Our annual International Migratory Bird Day Celebration is a wonderful chance to join us as we share the amazing journey's of migratory birds. This event is free and open to the public at River Point Conservation Area
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Photo Credits: International Migratory Bird Day Artwork © Amelia Hansen for Environment for the Americas
Biodiversity Research Institute