Membership | Sign up for eNews | Contact Us | Online Store

spacer spacer spacer spacer spacer

PARC Research

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.

Bird bandedBird Banding Research

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.


Bioacoustics LabBioacoustics Lab

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.


Flight Tunnel

Flight tunnelBirds 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 page.


Louisiana Waterthrush

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.


Return to Top

Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh
Site Development:
CME Websites