I’ve been away for a couple of days and while I was gone, I let WordPress publish scheduled posts automatically. Now I’m back “live” with lots of stories to tell…
May 30, 2008 – Bird Banding
Due to circumstances far too tedious to list, I arrived at Tom LeBlanc’s SWAT banding station later than I had intended on opening day (May 30) – maybe 8:30 a.m. or so… Tom and his team had already banded and released many birds. SWAT is a MAPS banding station. MAPS stands for Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship. SWAT is the four-letter code Tom selected for this station… and it soon became clear why. The gnats were annoying to say the least! We SWATted many of them throughout the morning. I had to keep reminding myself: They are not bugs. They are bird food.
It was a joy to follow these experts around and soak up the knowledge. I realize I have a LOT to learn!…
There were so many beautiful, colorful birds! My favorite pair had contrasting colors: a Yellow Warbler and an Indigo Bunting:
Couldn’t resist a bunch of pictures of the Baltimore Oriole, either:
I racked up plenty of experience including recording data and holding and releasing the processed birds. This fine Gray Catbird did me the honor of being the first bird to nip at me:
Tom generously and patiently talked me through banding a darling little female Magnolia Warbler:
Later, we caught her boyfriend. Now they have matching bracelets.
There were plenty more birds and lots of fun and conversation… I’m really enjoying learning about bird banding. After we closed the nets, I was off to the Allegany Nature Pilgrimage… Posts for the next few days are going to be about that! And maybe I’ll even get some time to catch up on reading all YOUR blogs, too!
Read Tom’s story about Opening Day here: http://monarchbfly.com/2008/05/31/swat-banding/