A fun way to get to know birds better is to volunteer at the Heard Museum's bird banding station. The banders use mist nets to capture birds, then place a small metal band on the bird's leg. The band number is then reported to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bird Banding Laboratory. If the band is later recovered in some way, its date and location can help researchers learn more about how long birds live and their migration patterns.
The Heard Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the eastern edge of McKinney. Volunteers wishing to assist with various aspects of the banding program are invited. As of this post, banding is on Wednesday and Friday mornings.