Banding Bluebirds

July 26, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

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:


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