On Saturday, the bird banding team processed 14 birds. Most were receiving new bands, but there were several recaptures. Most notable was a Gray Catbird that had been banded here on May 19th, 2007… it was listed as being “after second year” then… so this was an old bird!
In the last few weeks, I’ve had several people ask me why we band birds. Determining life spans is only one of the many uses of bird banding data. For more information on how banding data are used, visit the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center website by clicking here.
For me, the most exciting part about bird banding is the way people respond. According to his mother, this young man was very reluctant to go along to the bird banding demonstration:
It only took seeing one bird come out of the net and get a bracelet before he was hooked. His family stayed right through to the end and that boy was eager to go on every net check, delighted each time it was his turn to release a bird.
Actually, it wasn’t his turn to release this one. But after watching the American Robin nip at Emily’s hands during processing, none of the other kids were too eager to let it go! Emily gently dumped the Robin onto sleeve-covered hands.
And it’s not just the kids who delight in seeing the birds up close:
Over 60 people visited the banding station on this lovely Saturday morning, including Sarah’s Little Explorers class:
Bird Banding demonstrations repeat at Audubon on May 16th and 23rd, 7am-11am. Come on down!