Saturday, May 1, 2010

A Bird in the Hand

This morning I got to do something I've wanted to for some time now. I went up to the Biocore Prairie Bird Observatory to observe and help out, to the extent a novice can, with bird banding.

To catch the birds, nearly invisible nets are erected at points around the prairie. Birds captured in the nets get a small, lightweight band attached to their leg. This band carries a unique identifying number so in the event a bird is seen again, the data collected from the previous capture can be compared to its current condition. This data includes various measurements of its size, health condition and breeding/nesting indicators.

While the bird itself may not enjoy the data collection very much what with being kept in a paper bag and suffering the indignity of having its nether regions blown on with a straw, it's contributing to a body of knowledge that helps us understand the life cycles and statuses of different bird populations and their habitats.

0 Responses: