Visitors to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park got an up-close look at nature Wednesday. The Institute at Tremont was busy with bird banding.

Bird banding is capturing live birds in mist nets and then placing aluminum bands with a unique nine-digit number on the bird's leg. The birds also receive a colored band to make it easier to to visually track the bird.

With the addition of the Hemlock woolly adelgid, hemlock trees in the Smokies have been on a steady decline. Park staff are studying the effects it is having on local birds.

To find out more about the bird banding program checkout