fall migration

Birding At The Russell Kirt Prairie

John Cebula (left) speaks with a couple participants in the guided bird walk at the Russell Kirt Prairie

John Cebula (left) speaks with a couple participants in the guided bird walk at the Russell Kirt Prairie

Many people drive by, some even walk through the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage on a regular basis without giving much thought to the natural area. The Glen Ellyn based community college is home to two prairie fragments. Earlier this week, First Light host Brian O’Keefe went out to the Kirt Prairie on the west side of campus and joined a bird walk

One of two ponds that attract waterfowl and other birds to the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage

One of two ponds that attract waterfowl and other birds to the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage

Researchers Track Migration Patterns With Bird Banding

This week in our look at stories from around the state…we check in with Illinois Public Radio’s Connie Kuntz in Rockford. 2018 is the Year of the Bird…a year of education and outreach by bird enthusiasts. Bird banding is one way researchers track a bird's migration pattern. It's done by placing a small identification tag on a bird’s leg. Connie followed a Rockford University professor and took part in this seasonal ritual

After having a small identification band placed around its leg, this little bird was sent on its way (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)

After having a small identification band placed around its leg, this little bird was sent on its way (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)

A very fine ‘mist net’ is used to catch birds. Researchers carefully remove them from the net, band them and release them to continue migration (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)

A very fine ‘mist net’ is used to catch birds. Researchers carefully remove them from the net, band them and release them to continue migration (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)

A downy woodpecker was among the species caught and banded during a recent migratory bird study near Rockford (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)

A downy woodpecker was among the species caught and banded during a recent migratory bird study near Rockford (photo courtesy of WNIJ/Connie Kuntz)