It's always nice to see elements of bird culture picked up by the regular media. In The Atlantic's online issue this week, Geoff Manaugh and Nicola Twilley offer a look into what is now the United State's longest continuously running bird banding program (and second in North America only to Long Point Bird Observatory's program at Long Point, Ontario) at Powdermill Avian Research Center in central Pennsylvania.
Powdermill's output is the stuff of legends, and for 45 years the nets have gone up in roughly the same places, capturing and obtaining data on half a million birds, including 110,000 recaptures through 2005 (almost certainly more now) of a staggering 190 species. But Powdermill is more than just a bird-banding program, and the researchers there have pioneered the study of nocturnal flight calls which offers an even clearer picture of the migratory landscape year to year.
Perhaps most fascinating is Powdermill's bird flight tunnel, which the center uses to test how birds interact with different window treatments, work that is seeing some dividends.
Anyway, if you're interested in the cutting edge research being undertaken by one of North America's and the world's premier bird research organizations, The Atlantic turns of to be a pretty thorough place to start.