MSU Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center to host virtual field day on migratory birds

Learn about the unique features and history of Corey Marsh, then dive deeper as researchers highlight current projects featuring migratory birds.

EAST LANSING, Mich. — School groups, teachers, birding groups, outdoor enthusiasts and others interested in natural resources joined MSU AgBioResearch and the Michigan State Bird Observatory (MSBO) for a virtual field day highlighting migratory bird research at the MSU Corey Marsh Ecological Research Center (CMERC) on Sept. 23.

“Migratory birds fascinate people of all ages. They come in spectacular array of colors, shapes, and sizes and they possess remarkable adaptations that enable them to explore every niche on Earth,” said Jen Owen, associate professor in the MSU Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, center coordinator for CMERC, and director of MSBO. “Each autumn at MSBO, we have the privilege of conducting research on the diversity of migratory birds that stopover in our mid-Michigan woodlands, where they rest and refuel to support the next leg of their long journey south for the winter.”

During the online field day, Owen; Kristy Taylor, education and outreach coordinator for MSBO; and undergraduate researchers Hannah Landwerlen and Evan Griffis gave short presentations lasting approximately 10-20 minutes.

Topics covered were:

  1. CMERC overview - Intro, history, and Google Earth virtual tour
  2. Secretive marsh birds
  3. Cavity-nesting birds
  4. Duck banding and avian influenza virus sampling with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  5. Seasonal bird banding with the MSBO; discuss MSBO research and outreach programs
  6. Q&A

Attendees learned more about CMERC, MSBO and the wonder and beauty of migratory birds.

“The Michigan State Bird Observatory provides an amazing outdoor educational experience connecting students and visitors with hands-on opportunities to interact with wildlife and observe ongoing research as it happens,” said Taylor.

Located on the former Muck Soils Research Farm in Laingsburg, Mich., CMERC is a vibrant place for research, community engagement and undergraduate education.

“We conduct research that generates knowledge about ways to enhance ecosystem function and heighten biodiversity in human-altered wetland and grassland ecosystems," Owen said. "Through active engagement, we share this information with our community."

“By integrating our research and public engagement activities with undergraduate education, we provide students with experiential learning opportunities in natural resources research, science communication and engagement. Our hope with this integrated approach is to show how important science is for maintaining, restoring and protecting ecosystems that sustain the health and well-being of society. “

For more on MSU’s virtual field days, click here.


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