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Discover the Grounds Workshop: Bird Watching and Banding

South Lobby Tulip Tree Trail
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cardinal on a berry tree

Turn your love of nature into a scientific adventure!

A part of Nature Weekends at Crystal Bridges, come join avian ecologist Mitchell Pruitt and the Nature Center as we learn the basics and best practices of bird watching and tagging. We’ll meet at the South Lobby entrance to the museum, explore the grounds in search of winter gatherings of birds such cardinals and chickadees, and learn the best ways to find and observe our feathered friends. Then, you’ll get to join in as citizen scientists to help count bird populations and observe live bird banding, which helps ecologists track and study seasonal migrations.

All supplies will be provided for this event, including binoculars for bird watching. All you have to bring is a curious mind and a love of the natural world.

Free, tickets required. Reserve your spot online or with Guest Services at (479) 657-2335 today.

Registration includes the cost of all supplies for this event. Please meet at the South Lobby.

About the Instructor

Man holding an owl

Mitchell Pruitt is a PhD student working under Dr. JD Willson in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Arkansas. He studies dispersal movement (migration) in owls of North America. Mitchell primarily studies the Northern Saw-whet Owl, but has broad interests in other birds of prey as well. During his master’s under the late Dr. Kimberly Smith, he studied Northern Saw-whet Owls in the Arkansas Ozarks. Prior to the beginning of this research in 2014, the saw-whet owl was virtually unknown to Arkansas except for 13 historic records. After seven years of migration study, the species is now understood to be a regular fall migrant throughout the Ozark Highlands ecoregion; and after two years of radio telemetry study, the species is considered winter resident in upland pine forest in northwest Arkansas. When he’s not in the field or in the lab, you might catch Mitchell with binoculars and camera in hand, travelling wherever the birds take him!