My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Family Day at SWAT

Group photo
SWAT Group Photo

Today was Family Day at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station with families from Michigan to local families who spent the first weekday of summer together! Of course the best part is that everyone here is a regular visitor to this website!!! {{{HIGH FIVE}}} It wasn’t until I was driving Young Naturalist J home that I realized that the whole “Mon@rch Nature Blog team” was together for the first time and I didn’t take a “team” picture together (big upset for the day)! But the whole team was in the group photo that I managed to get of all the families that visited in . . . . well minus one family who left early and a father who was the photographer.

Foggy Morning
Foggy Morning

With about 26 people at the banding station this morning . . . we still had an amazing banding day! We started the morning with some thick fog that quickly disappeared with the warming of the bright sun. Fog always seems to put a damper on the day and I was also worried that we would be dealing with some thunderstorms that never arrived. Mother Nature could not have given us the most perfect summer morning to be out banding together!

<>Blue-headed Vireo
Blue-headed Vireo

We banded 15 different species and handled 40 different individuals. Unusual captures for the station included a Purple Finch, Blue-headed Vireo, Chipping Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. With many babies being captured and unusual captures allowed for some wonderful bird quiz opportunity for many of the banding assistants (and Young Naturalist) to improving their bird identification skills. Other highlight captures included a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Yellow Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Swamp Sparrow.

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler

It is so rewarding seeing the many children having the opportunity to see these birdies up close. One of the mothers said “when her kids were little, all birds they saw were just called “birdies” . . . . because of visiting this banding station over the years that the kids now recognize them all as different species”. Overhearing parents talking about their banding experiences is what makes the efforts in running a station like this worth the time and money we put into it.

Song Sparrow
Song Sparrow

Between the serious banding time . . . . fun kidding around time (ok, we are laughing 99% of the time) . . . . we still manage to explore, learn and collect some scientific information on the birds we are finding. I also noticed some major improvements in the bird handling from our newer banding assistants. It was obviously a long day but without a doubt it was also what I would consider a perfect day!!

Gray Catbird
Gray Catbird


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16 responses

  1. winterwoman

    It was a perfect morning for me, I know that! Thanks for your patience and all the hands-on experience. I’m feeling much more confident about handling birds.

    24 June 2008 at 4:52 am

  2. That is a wonderful experience for the kids! I wish I had something like that to participate in when I was a kid (many, many, many years ago.) Great photos of the kids. You can see the enthusiasm in their eyes.

    24 June 2008 at 6:18 am

  3. How very sweet to see all the kids proudly and perfectly handling the birds. What a life experience this is for them. :c)

    24 June 2008 at 6:40 am

  4. It is fabulous that you get the kids so involved in this!

    24 June 2008 at 7:41 am

  5. Lisa at Greenbow

    The looks on those childrens faces is priceless. What a grand time.

    24 June 2008 at 7:41 am

  6. Looks like the kids enjoyed it.

    24 June 2008 at 9:21 am

  7. I couldn’t help grinning at those eager faces. Thanks for providing them the experience!

    24 June 2008 at 9:44 am

  8. Sarah Hurst

    I had a lot of fun yesterday, thanks! You should check out my blog fannyparker.blogspot.com .

    24 June 2008 at 11:31 am

  9. Bethany

    Looked like you guys had a blast!

    24 June 2008 at 12:18 pm

  10. How wonderfully refreshing to see so many young people outdoors and holding birds. I’m sure it will make a lifetime impression.

    24 June 2008 at 4:26 pm

  11. Looks like a great crew you got there Tom, glad to see all the kids involved !! 🙂

    24 June 2008 at 4:39 pm

  12. I know these kids will never forget this time. What a gift you have given them!

    24 June 2008 at 6:37 pm

  13. Pam

    What a great day with so many kids – how cool, Tom!

    24 June 2008 at 8:04 pm

  14. @ Jen – so glad you had such a perfect morning! Keep up the great work and it will get better with each bird you handle!
    @ Linda – Thanks and it is amazing what an experience can do for the children when they get older!
    @ Jayne – thanks and they all did such a wonderful job!
    @ Kerri – thanks and these kids are our future scientist!
    @ Lisa – thanks and you should have seen the smile on my face with each bird we catch!
    @ Scienceguy – without a doubt!
    @ Lynne – thanks and glad they had joined us!
    @ Sara – so glad you guys arrived and going to check here soon!
    @ Beth – thanks . . . we sure did!
    @ ncmountainwoman – thanks and any experience with the kids outside will make a difference!
    @ Bernie – thanks and they make the excitement of the banding!
    @ Rondi – thanks and they enjoyed it for sure!
    @ Pam – thanks!

    24 June 2008 at 10:19 pm

  15. Marg

    twenty-six people! Wow!

    Looks like a perfect day to me (sigh)

    28 June 2008 at 8:24 am

  16. That’s so cool! What a fun day!

    28 June 2008 at 11:32 pm

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