Southeast Volusia Audubon Society, P.O. Box 46, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32170;

November 2015 Speaker

Our November, 2015 speaker will be Ms. Meret Wilson, a Federal, State and District licensed Master Bander.  Her banding station, started in 2004, is located in Tomoka State Park just north of Ormond Beach.  She became interested in banding in the 1990s when she visited a banding station in Rock Springs Run State Preserve.  That is where her obsession and passion began and continues to this day.  “It is like getting to go birding every single day!”

Meret was a medical technologist for 40 years, graduating from West Virginia University.  Working “got in her way” of banding and birding so she finally retired in 2006 and has never looked back.   Her interest in birds started with raptors when she volunteered at the Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland and rescued raptors all over Volusia County for a number of years.  Then in 1998 she went on her first birding trip to Delaware and Cape May, New Jersey expanding her horizons beyond raptors.  Raptors continue to be her first love but her love of birds is all-encompassing.  And having a bird in hand is a thrill she cannot explain.

To date Meret has banded over 4000 birds including 86 different species which is quite a feat for a small, narrow coastal park.  The most recent surprise was the capturing of a Yellow-breasted Chat.  Not every day brings a load of exciting birds as many hours are spent, and too many days go by, that not a single bird is caught.  So, it takes a special kind of patience to be a bird bander.

There are those who are opposed to bird banding but a tremendous amount of data is collected by consistent banding all over the world.  Having a bird in hand allows for a unique opportunity to see fine details of plumage often missed on a bird in a tree or flying by.  It was from this vantage point that Meret discovered a new means of aging yellow-rump warblers never before noted, on which she is writing a scientific paper.  Trends of migration, effects of weather change, unexpected locations are just a small number of things that are being learned through banding.  Combining this information with entry into eBird, conservation measures can also be considered.

Meret will explain more about banding and about the birds she gets to work with.

Refreshments will be served.