BUTTE, Mont. -

A group of people got the rare opportunity to observe bird banding today at the Mt. Haggin Wildlife Management Area.

Biologists from the University of Montana's Avian Science Center temporarily catch wild birds. The birds receive a bracelet with an individual number on it--kind of like a social security number--and are then released. This helps the scientists monitor and study the birds. They are looking to see how mining in the Butte and Anaconda areas affect the health and breeding of the birds. The bird banding sessions are open to the public. The researchers said that's because it is important for people to know what kind of impact humans have on the native animals.

"By educating the public and learning from our past mistakes," said Sharon Fuller, a biologist at the Avian Science Center, "we can teach our future generations how to better take care of and be better land stewards."

Bird banding will take place at the Mt. Haggin Wildlife Management Area on select Saturdays throughout the summer. These events are part of the Avian Science Center's "Birds-Eye View Education Program."