WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLF) — Local birds are starting their flights south for the winter. As the nights start to become longer, migrations start to kick-off and as a result, a massive flock was reported flying over Purdue Wildlife Park.
Wildlife Ecology Professor Barney Dunning and his class were there to study and track the migration. They would branding birds with metal bands on their legs to tracking which bird is which and allow them to conduct research on the local bird population.
Dunning said while they weren't able to see the main bulk of the reported flock, they did see remnants of it.
"We did catch a nice variety of birds, including hummingbirds, migrating warblers, as well as a lot of catbirds today. So, it was a fun day out in the field." - Wildlife Ecology Professor Barney Dunning, Purdue University
He adds that branding allows them to record independent data for scientific purposes.
"You can look for change. If the bird changes its size, if it's heavier this time than last time. You would only know that if the bird was identifiable," said Dunning.
He says this practice has been a standard since the 1930s and is a basic component that makes up bird science.