Bird Banding at Dolly Sods Resumes After Year-Long Hiatus

A group of people stand in front of the bird banding station at Dolly Sods with trees in the background

Brooks Bird Club, headquartered in Wheeling, has been supportive of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy since our beginnings. Chuck Conrad, administrator of Brooks Bird Club for decades, was one of nine signers of our articles of incorporation. So, we are happy to report on an updated effort connected with the folks at Brooks Bird Club.

After a year’s hiatus, the Allegheny Front Migration Observatory (AFMO) bird banding station reopened on August 26, 2023, and closed on October 12, 2023. Lead banders Lejay Graffious and Bob Dean were assisted by many other volunteers to revitalize the research project near Red Creek campground at Dolly Sods. Of the 2,716 birds banded this year, 57 species were tagged, predominately warblers. Newer protocols have been initiated, which do even more to protect the well-being of the birds during capture, data collecting and release.

The Allegheny Front Migration Observatory is North America’s oldest continuous bird banding station.

The West Virginia Highlands Conservancy made sure to include a field trip to Allegheny Front Migration Observatory at our 50th reunion and has recently made a contribution to the station. 

Other groups and individuals who wish to donate may do so with checks directed to The Brooks Bird Club, PO Box 4077, Wheeling, WV, 26003, with “AFMO donation” on the check memo line.

To learn more about Brooks Bird Club and the Allegheny Front Migration Observatory, visit