This week I have been posting pictures from our “big” banding day at Braddock Bay Bird Observatory, which is located in Rochester, NY. My first two post talked about the Wood-Warblers and the Thrush species that were banded by the BBBO Staff. Today I wanted to do a post on some of the other great birds that were banded and how the staff is able to run a station like this.
After the birdies are removed from the mist-nets, they would be taken back to the banding station to be banded. The volunteer staff is very organized and each staff member has a specific job that need to be done. Those that remove the birds from the nets are the net-pickers who make sure every half hour the 70ish nets scattered around the property are bird free. The banders are the ones who identify the birds and place the metal bands on their legs. They take numerous measurements, weigh them and then release them. The Braddock Bay Bird Observatory staff can have 4 banders processing birds at one time with 2 recording assistants. The recorders job is to make sure that the data being given to them by the 4 banders are properly being recorded into the log book. Did I mention how organized they are?? No wonder they are able to process hundreds of birds in a day!!
When Young Naturalist J and myself arrived at the station . . . .the BBBO Team was in full force banding birds. We kind-of crashed the station and arrived without letting them know ahead of time that we were coming. They were very friendly and we gave our hugs before the staff went right back to work. The very first bird we were handed after being weighed was the Golden-crowned Kinglet. Young Naturalist J noted how tiny this little birdie was and suggested that we take its photo next to my thumb (see above).
They were banding the birds so quickly and if we did not watch to see when they were weighing the bird we wanted a closer view of . . . . it would quickly be released out the window. I am trying to remember some of the other great birds we missed but the Winter Wren is the main bird that I keep on thinking about. That is one that I was watching as the bander was banding, some how got distracted by another bird they had and then realized the wren was gone!! Uggg
We had several species of swallows which included the White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow and Song Sparrow. I might have missed the Lincoln’s sparrow with the busyness but that’s one species that I was hoping to see up close again.
The best part of visiting a banding station like this is that you just never know what they might catch. The “your kidding” capture for the day had to be the House Finch. I guess if it’s a Black-and-white Warbler or House Finch, they all should be treated the same (and so I also photographed it)!