Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bird Banding

Athough it was cloudy and cool, at least the rain held off this morning for a bird banding event today. I have always been curious and wanted to learn more so when I saw the event scheduled I signed up as an observer.

All the handlers were very knowledgeable and readily shared information on the procedures for collecting data on the birds. Each bird was weighed, wings measured, a general assessment of their overall health, molt status, then banded for release.

All ages were in the group and I was particularly pleased to see the young children taking such an interest and asking good questions. All were given an opportunity to release one of the birds and to see the smiles on the childrens faces as they gently held the bird in hand was delightful.

My parents started my interest in birding when I was young and it has been a life long activity. Interacting with nature teaches value of and appreciation for all life forms.

Some of the birds were very docile from start to end while others expressed their discontent with the whole situation. The Cardinal I was to release clamped on to my finger and would not let go despite total freedom to fly at any time. Not that it really hurt, just a pinch. I was more amused at how mad it was from being handled and that given the opportunity to fly, didn't. Finally a gentle stroke down its back sent it off.


Kath said...

Wow such detail in your photos. I was very interested to see how the banding was done. I was also interetsed to see how big is a Cardinal. I have seen photos of them on other blogs, but with no sense of scale i hadnt realised their size. You seem to have much more brightly coloured birds than here in England.

Paula said...

They are beautiful birds and happen to be our state bird. They are fairly good size birds and the males have a little bit of a tendancy to be bossy. As spring and summer arrive, the males get brighter and brighter. One thing for sure, they did not care for being handled! Always pleasant to see that bright flash of red.