6 Oct 2016

Bird Banding

My friends Robyn and Mark are bird-watchers. Oh, they do a lot of other things, too, that you can read about on their blog at this link. But it's their bird hobby that I'm envying today. On the first Saturday of October, Robyn and Mark were helping researchers by banding birds. It was a wonderful day for citizen scientists helping experts with hands-on gathering of data!

This bird is a hermit thrush, observing Robyn as carefully as she observes it!

As Robyn says:
This morning Mark and I volunteered with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory banding migrating song birds. We helped with retrieving the birds from the nets (37 today) and entering their info into a database. Very interesting work and it confirmed how much I DON'T know about birds

The nets used to catch birds are almost invisible, and suspended between.posts like a fence. Here's a Chestnut-backed chickadee caught safely in a net. A moment later, a researcher carefully untangled the bird and held it while Robyn and Mark helped to band the bird and write notes about it. The bird banding is also being done at night, when the researchers catch owls.

Here's the whiteboard with notes about the numbers of birds caught, and their types.The total count of birds banded by Rocky Point Bird Observatory after day 74.of their study? 2,486!

You can read more about Rocky Point Bird Observatory at this link to their Facebook page, or go to their own website at this link
The Sci/Why Blog has had another post written about volunteering for a bird banding event, and you can read it at this link.
If you want to volunteer with bird studies in your own area, start by looking up provincial resources and try the nearest university biology program to find out who needs you. Don't worry about handling the birds -- even if all you do is write down the information as fast as the expert can say it, you're doing useful work that lets the expert handle the birds. Maybe there's a birdwatching club at the local recreation centre, or a birding store at a mall. The public library will have books on birds and birdwatching as well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow! That's a lot of kinds of birds!