Today I had the privilege of watching volunteers from the Prescott Bluebird Recovery Project band a pair of 10-day-old Western Bluebirds on private property in Clackamas County with a couple of friends, one of whom owns the property and successfully maintains several nest boxes.
I learned the prerequisites of becoming a bander include steady hands, sharp eyesight, and a calm demeanor. And, that a small quilt, multiple stocking caps, precision specialty pliers, and the support of good friends are standard tools of the trade.
I guess that's why I correctly chose photography as an avocation because I can shoot 11 frames per second, then at the end of the day sort through a 1000 images with the hope of coming up with a handful of pictures that might be worth sharing.
When banding birds - mistakes are not acceptable, in digital photography - no such idea exists.
The trap pictured below was intended to capture the adults who proved too wary to accept the bait on this visit:
A curious bystander wondering what all the fuss was about:
Amazingly, the nestlings were extracted by feel alone:
Then transferred from hand to hat:
The nest was removed and examined. A Bowfly larvae engorged with blood was found and disposed of: Now the cool part - banding a very delicate creature without harming it: