Carnegie Museum of Natural History researchers are on the front lines of climate science, tracking the complex changes unfolding right here in western Pennsylvania.
For nearly 60 years, Carnegie Museum of Natural History researchers have risen with the morning mists to string hundreds of feet of netting along the grounds of Powdermill Nature Reserve, the museum’s environmental research center in Rector, Pennsylvania. Their goal? To snatch as many birds out of the sky as possible.
While this may sound like the actions of a super villain, the procedure is the basis for one of the longest continuously running studies in the Western Hemisphere. Some 15,000 birds safely find their way into these nets annually-American goldfinches and magnolia warblers as well as sharp-shinned hawks, northern saw-whet owls, and yellow-bellied sapsuckers. They spend as little as 20 minutes in captivity before being released back into the wild, but the information they leave behind is priceless.