Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) Projects
Powdermill Avian Research Center (PARC) engages in avian research,
focusing primarily on the banding of migrating bird species. Situated
on over 2,200 acres of natural habitat in the Laurel Highlands of
Southwestern Pennsylvania, PARC is uniquely positioned and exceptionally
well staffed to conduct a variety of research projects.
The bird banding program at PARC records the age, sex, wing length, fat
deposits, and body mass of captured species, as well as studying molt in
birds. The data gathered proves useful in many areas of avian
research, including migration, behavioral research, and longevity, as well
as differences between sexes and age groups, life cycles, weight and plumage
changes, population monitoring, habitat use, disease, and ecotoxicology (the
harmful effects of chemical compounds on avian species). Bird banding also
helps us understand how to conserve the land and environments in which these
migrating species live and breed. Learn more on our
Bird Banding page.
At PARC, our bioacoustics facility employs a specially constructed
recording booth along with interactive sound analysis software. In a
procedure which elicits bird calls from selected species, we are able to
record, isolate, and analyze acoustic signatures. A library of
exceptionally clean bird calls is being compiled that will prove useful in a
variety of research endeavors, including a new way of automating bird
counting and migration research. Learn more on our
Bioacoustics Lab page.
are unable to distinguish window reflections from trees, plants, and sky.
This fact results in countless bird strikes and millions of bird deaths from
window collisions each year. PARC is conducting critical research that
will soon make a difference. Our advanced flight tunnel, one of
only two in the world using this design, is helping us understand which
commercially available window treatments can prevent bird strikes.
Learn more on our Flight Tunnel
At Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s biological research station
Powdermill Nature Reserve, a unique opportunity exists to study the possible
effects of acid mine drainage pollution of headwater streams on obligate
riparian songbirds. For this project the Louisiana Waterthrush was chosen.
The study looks at the demographics, behavioral ecology, productivity, and
survivorship of Louisiana Waterthrush populations. Learn more on our
Louisiana Waterthrush page.
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