Bird Banding at the RTPI Birding Festival

As I walked across the lawn, Jordon or Tom (?) called out, “Hey, Jen!  Want to band a Cardinal?”

I knew why they asked.  Cardinals have very strong bills and their bite can be quite painful.  Still, I answered, “Sure!”

Banding a Cardinal 1
(My, I look old and wrinkly in this picture.  That’s what getting up at 4:30 a.m. two days in a row will do for you… well… that and living on the planet for several decades…  Or maybe my new camera is defective.  Yeah… that’s it…)

Banding a Cardinal 2

You have to use a special band for Cardinals…  Steel.  I squeezed and squeezed, but couldn’t get it to close.  Had to give it over to Tom:

Banding a Cardinal 3

After the wing and tail measurements, Tom suggested I take a bill measurement, too… just for practice.  I had never used the calipers before.  They are pretty cool:

Bill Measurement with Calipers

Isn’t he a handsome boy?  Interestingly, he never bit me… But he bit everyone else who held him:  Tom, Jordon, and Solon.

Handsome Boy

Good Birdie.  Nice Birdie.

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6 thoughts on “Bird Banding at the RTPI Birding Festival

  1. Lucky you! That last shot is simply gorgeous

    Grosbeaks are worse

    and oh dear I get up for work at 4 am every day!

  2. Gosh he’s a handsome bird! Good job Jenn!
    OK, dumb question……why do cardinals need a steel leg band? Do the other birds get aluminum ones? (need to know since I’m hoping to get into bird banding too). Thanks

  3. You don’t look old. I think you’re fooled by your own look of intense concentration. The last photo of the male cardinal is awesome !!

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