Pantex partners with college students to study birds in the area

Pantex partners with college students to study birds in the area

AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - Pantex biologist and bird enthusiast Jim Ray is teaming up with wildlife students from West Texas A&M University and Texas Tech University to capture a few Purple Martins for scientific study.

On Friday, Jim Ray, along with college students and volunteers, weighed, measured and gave a few dozen Purple Martin birds coded bands and backpacks with GPS transmitters attached.

“A lot of our program is built on partnerships, so professors, students that work on our projects, you know, there’s just a lot of people that played a role in this and a lot of people deserve credit and this is just a great reward for them all,” said Ray.

Ray and his partners were just recently recognized as the winners of the 2019 Presidential Migratory Bird Federal Stewardship Award.

Through the leadership of Ray, the Pantex Plant developed a multi-dimensional migratory bird research program that demonstrates commitment to bird protection, outreach and diverse research strategies.

Ray has been tracking, documents and protecting wildlife at Pantex for almost 20 years. He and his team have banded more than 10,000 Purple Martins.

Band and tracking will allow researchers to follow everything the birds do from nestlings to the migration from South America to Texas and Oklahoma.

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