Laura Mahrt, an Associate Professor of Biology at Eastern Oregon University, is one of the operators of the Ladd Marsh MAPS station near La Grande, OR. In early July, she shared a photo with us of a cool upcycled mist net bag she had made out of a t-shirt. We shared it on the IBP Facebook page and it was a hit! Lots of folks requested her pattern and Laura agreed to let us post her pattern on Bird Pop! We also did a short interview with her to find out how she got into bird banding, and how she came up with the idea for her mist net bag. (The link to the a pdf of the pattern is at the end of this post.)
1. How long have you been running the Ladd Marsh station?
This is just our second year.
2. How did you first got involved in bird-banding?
The Friends of Ladd Marsh sponsored an IBP workshop in August of 2017. I signed up with 7 other local birders/biologists. Danielle Kaschube came out and led the class. We were all so excited by the experience, that 7 of us decided to start our own MAPS station in 2017.
3. Is sewing a favorite hobby of yours?
I enjoying sewing, I learned from my Mom how to draft patterns (I uses to make all my own Barbie doll clothes.) Once school is out for summer, I spend time sewing. I enjoy making up-cycled skirts. My favorite hobby is knitting, it is portable and you will never find me at a meeting on campus or traveling without a knitting project in hand. I draft many of my own knitting projects too.
4. What prompted you to make these bags?
As an ecologist, I live by "Reduce and Reuse." I cannot stand to throw out anything and add old clothes to my stash of material for sewing projects. When one of the net bags ripped in the wind, I could not just use a new plastic bag. So I decided to make bags to store the nets in. I drafted the pattern from a plastic bag and experimented, the first bag was a complete disaster!
5. How many bags have you made so far?
I made 10 bags for all the nets out of my stash of old t-shirts. Each bag took about 30 minutes to make from start to finish. I also sewed all the bird bags (55 of them) for the Station.
6. Do you have a favorite bird to band?
Tough question... I do love Yellow Warblers. I love how they are green in your hand! And they have the cutest whiskers.