Migratory Bird Tracking

The majority of birds we see in Massachusetts do not spend the entire year here. When they leave our borders they are subject to a broad spectrum of pressures, many of which are poorly understood. It is therefore imperative that we gain better knowledge of the stresses birds face during the breeding (for many of our wintering ducks and shorebirds), migration, and overwintering periods if we truly want to conserve our bird populations. Mass Audubon is working to track individual movements through several projects.

Snowy Owl (Photo: Norman Smith)
Snowy Owl

Mass Audubon is working to protect Snowy Owls, the largest owl species in North America. Norman Smith, former director at Blue Hills Trailside Museum, has been studying them since 1981. As part of his research, he attaches bands and transmitters to Snowy Owls at Logan Airport to track their travels. More about the project >

Juvenile osprey at Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary

Since 2004, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, with the essential support of volunteers and partner organizations, annually monitors the breeding activity of 80 pairs of osprey on nearly 100 nesting platforms in Westport and Dartmouth, MA. Learn More

Cape May Warbler at Joppa Flats banding station
Cape May Warbler

Joppa Flats Education Center established its Bird Banding Station on Plum Island, part of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, in May 1998. The station, located in Newbury, Massachusetts, is designed to monitor migratory passerines (songbirds) during spring and fall migrations. Learn more >

Great Shearwater © Rob MacDonald
Great Shearwater © Rob MacDonald

Every year, Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary tracks Great Shearwaters. For 2019, 9 of the birds they are tracking are named after Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries. Learn more >