NORTH ABINGTON TOWNSHIP, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Over four hundred bird species have been documented in the state of Pennsylvania.

Either they are year round residents or make a brief stop during yearly migrations.

This year, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources once again held their annual Spring Migration Round Up competition. And nearby Lackawanna State Park took home third place with an amazing one hundred and fifteen species recorded in just one week.

This year’s competition was held during the second week of May and it is a time for PA state parks to encourage birders of all skill levels to contribute to the study of birds. Participants are asked to submit bird sightings through computer-based website eBird or with paper checklists found at each park’s office. 

It is no surprise that Lackawanna State Park faired so well during this migration period – that is exactly why folks from the University of Scranton and Penn State Scranton choose to band birds there every spring.

Bird banding begins by catching wild birds in very fine mist nets. Once removed, a small, individually numbered tiny metal or plastic band is attached to the leg of the bird. 

The birds these scientists caught in Lackawanna State Park over the weekend have just crossed continents and even hemispheres during their annual spring migration. 

It is the hope that these birds will be caught again somewhere in the world and data measurements can be studied and compared while keeping track of the movements of the bird and its life history. Even though it is the tail end of migration, it was still a fruitful day when PA live! host Chris Bohinski visited their banding site. The team caught and successfully released a Magnolia Warbler, Northern Waterthrush, American Redstarts, Mourning Warbler, a few Flycatchers, House Wren, and even a Ruby-throated Hummingbird.