(Casper, Wyo.) - Forty students from Douglas Intermediate School experienced the joys of birding at Edness K. Wilkins State Park with the Audubon Rockies Tuesday.
With help from Zach Hutchinson, Audubon Community Naturalist, the students helped to net, band, study and then release some of the birds in the park.
Hutchinson and a group of twenty-five dedicated volunteers have been out netting the birds and banding them for the past two weeks.
"When we band the birds, we are putting on metal bracelets with a unique number associated with that bird. This was we can track its whereabouts. When we net the birds, we are looking at their health, age, sex and looking to see if they have been producing in the area," said Hutchinson.
With ten soft mesh nets, standing like loose volleyball nets, hanging in the trees, ten feet high and thirty-six feet wide, the birds fly into the nets.
Hutchinson advised that the birds are not harmed when they fly into the nets.
Above Hutchinson is standing next to the bird net. It is very difficult to see and that is why the birds fly into it.
Today's bird of the day, was a Lazuli bunting, which Hutchinson reported to be one of the first for the group at Edness Kimball.
Last week the Audubon group hosted two school groups from Mills and the Science Zone's Summer Camp.
"We love having these school groups come out and learn with us, " said Hutchinson.
The team of 'birdists' begin their day around 5:00, sometimes 5:30 am, when the birds are most active and they continue to catch and release the birds until around noon, with help from community school groups.
Students' favorite part, watching their teachers release the birds: