Free as a Bird

This day felt like it might never come… I finally got the chance to participate in bird banding! I was aware I needed to be out in the field early, but I didn’t expect as early as 3:45am! I had to arrive to the bird banding station early so we could put up the mist nests before the birds woke.

That day I was positioned at Sandstone Falls. It consisted of 6 nets that were placed in varying areas. Due to the low volume of birds typically caught, there was a 40-minute rotation. 

Many nets didn’t experience much activity, but those caught birds I had never seen before. This included the Black and White Warbler and the American Redstart. Seeing these birds reminded me how small and fragile these animals can be. In the past, I mainly worked alongside larger aviaries like Pelicans and Great Blue Herons. 

Even with the early and long shift, it was a valuable experience. I was able to see what it’s like to be a bird bander and was able to contribute to this ongoing research. Without people like banders, we might not have understood birds like we do today.

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