Hi, I'm Nanette Mickle, bird bander, Purple Martin researcher, and crafter of fine jewelry.
I created this website to provide information about a scientific research project on Purple Martin migration in which, I am involved. The purpose of this research is to better understand factors that affect migration and survivability of Purple Martins and how it may be applied to other insectivores suffering serious population declines. You can read more about the research in the 'Geolocators" and 'Scientific Publications' pages but, as a quick summary:
I use tiny state-of-the-art geolocators (or backpacks, hence the name Birds with Backpacks) to study the migration patterns and strategies of Purple Martins, one of our long-distance migrating, insect-eating swallows. Information from this research will help us understand how migration is determined, how migration in Purple Martins (and perhaps other insectivores in decline) relates to climate change, and indicate stop-over areas along their migration route (and wintering grounds) which are in need of conservation efforts
I also wanted to describe another bird conservation research program in which I am involved. MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) is a constant-effort (perpetual) research program which monitors the health and productivity of our North American land birds. The program uses mist nets and a strict protocol to assess the health and breeding status of each bird which has been netted and released. This gathered information is submitted to the Institute for Bird Populations (IBP) for evaluation and analysis to establish where bird conservation efforts are needed. You can read more about it in the 'MAPS' page
In addition to describing and educating people on the above bird conservation efforts, I created this website to provide a vehicle for people to help fund the research. As a volunteer, which by the way, accounts for most bird researchers, I have decided to sell my Artisan crafted jewelry and donate the profits to help earn the money needed to fund my involvement in the research. You can read more about my jewelry and Etsy store on the 'About the Jewelry' page
ALL PROFITS FROM THE SALE OF MY JEWELRY WILL GO TOWARDS BIRD RESEARCH AND CONSERVATION