Carnegie Museum of Natural History

For more information, contact: Leigh Kish
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
412.622.3361 (office), 412.526.8587 (mobile)

April 25, 2011


On May 14 celebrate 50 years of bird banding at Powdermill Nature Reserve
A day of hands-on nature and science activities for families presented by Carnegie Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems

Rector, Pennsylvania…Powdermill Nature Reserve has elected May 14—International Migratory Bird Day—as the date for its public celebration of 50 years of bird banding and related field research at Powdermill Nature Reserve, the environmental research center of Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The May 14 public celebration at Powdermill includes a fun-filled day of nature activities led by scientists, researchers, and educators from Powdermill and Carnegie Museum of Natural History. The event is free, with drop-in activities taking place all day between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at Powdermill Nature Reserve. The events take place outdoors and indoors, rain or shine, so dress for the weather. Activities are designed for families and for adults. No registration is necessary. The celebration is a project of the Center for Biodiversity and Ecosystems at Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  


For more than 50 years Powdermill Nature Reserve has been the biological field station for Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Here scientists have studied biodiversity and ecosystems with a particular focus on migratory birds since 1956. Free activities May 14 celebrating 50 years of bird banding include:  

  • Behind-the-scenes laboratory tours of the bird banding station and bioacoustics lab: see how museum scientists gently capture migrating birds, collect data that helps researchers understand migration patterns and bird populations, and then carefully release the birds back into the wild. Bring your camera!  
  • A birding hike where you’ll learn several techniques of bird identification by both sight and sound.  
  • Field demonstrations of turtle trapping and identification.  
  • An introduction to fish surveying, a process that allows field researchers to identify, measure, and count fish before releasing them back into the wild.  
  • Insect and botany collection and identification demonstrations.  
  • Exploration stations with touchable objects and specimens, staffed by knowledgeable museum educators and volunteers.  
  • Informal scientific talks by Powdermill researchers, museum scientists, and research associates on a range of research studies about birds, insects, mollusks, reptiles, and amphibians as well as on the topics of conservation and biodiversity—both critical issues facing us today.  
  • Activities for kids and families, including an observation and exploration hike for children.  

Powdermill Nature Reserve is located 55 miles southeast of Pittsburgh in Rector, Pennsylvania. A full itinerary of events can be found on the Web site,, by Wednesday, May 11, or by picking up information at the Florence Lockhart Nimick Nature Center at Powdermill on the day of the event.  

A vendor will be located at Powdermill with food and beverages available for purchase. Picnic facilities are available around the property for those wishing to pack food items. In addition to the scheduled activities, Powdermill’s hiking trails and the exhibitions located in the Florence Lockhart Nimick Nature Center will be open and visitors are encouraged to explore these areas on their own. For the safety of visitors, staff, museum specimens, and live animals associated with demonstrations, it is requested that visitors leave their pets at home.   

Powdermill Nature Reserve has been dedicated to its mission of research, education, and conservation for more than 50 years. It is a place for scientists, for students, and for families who are interested in the natural world. Powdermill is home to the one of the longest continually running bird banding stations in the United States. A wide variety of public education programs serves children and adults. Researchers from around the world conduct diverse long- and short-term scientific studies in herpetology, botany, invertebrate zoology, and ornithology. More information about Powdermill can be found at 


Carnegie Museum of Natural History, one of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, is among the top natural history museums in the country. It maintains, preserves, and interprets an extraordinary collection of 22 million objects and scientific specimens used to broaden understanding of evolution, conservation, and biodiversity. Carnegie Museum of Natural History generates new scientific knowledge, advances science literacy, and inspires visitors of all ages to become passionate about science, nature, and world cultures. More information is available by calling 412.622.3131 or by visiting the website,