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Deana Baker, Chair of the Division of Science at Thomas University, gets an up-close look while banding a bird. She’ll talk more about bird banding and why it’s done during the next TU Talk on Nov. 17.


Next TU Talk to discuss bird banding

The next installment of Thomas University’s popular TU Talk series will focus on bird banding and the importance of birds in determining environmental health.

“Into the Mist: Bird Banding and Why” will be presented by Deana Baker, Chair of the TU Division of Science, at 2 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in the Flowers Foods Executive Classroom inside Smith-Bonvillian Hall on TU’s Forbes Campus.

“Birds are an indicator species, meaning they tell us things about the environment and its health,” Baker explained. “They tell us things about pollution, disease, biodiversity and habitat alteration impact, in addition to where bird species go during migration and how well they survive and reproduce. Birds have been used as barometers for a long time; however, we now use monitoring data and analytical tools to assess wild bird populations as environmental health barometers on a large spatial level.”

For more than 35 years Baker has been an avid bird watcher. For the past three years she has banded birds as part of a nationwide research protocol called Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS).

“Banding birds helps us assess habitat success and sustainability for survivorship of the birds, helping us manage healthy forest and habitats as well as make informed decisions on controlled burns and other disruptions or habitat interventions that will make the habitat thrive,” Baker said.

While participating in bird banding, Baker said she enjoys getting to see the birds up close in her hands.

“It brings great power and responsibility to hold life in your hands, to see its beauty and diversity,” she said. “Also, banding birds helps non-scientific people see how the scientific process works to help us understand our world.”

Presented by the TU Library, TU Talks are free and open to the public. For more information, call 229-227-6959.

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