SWAT Bird Banding
By: Pat Coate
I had a lot of fun spending Monday morning with Tom at his SWAT bird banding station.
To me, birding is a bit like a treasure hunt. Sometimes a frustrating treasure hunt, but a treasure hunt nonetheless. There are birds everywhere you just have to look and listen for them. There are maps, field guides, iPhone apps, etc. to help you along the way. There is always more to learn in birding – the male and female usually look different, each gender can look different at different times of the year, and the young often look different still. There are the birds’ calls to learn – and each bird has more than one. If that’s not enough challenge, the little buggers don’t stay still very long making it hard to get a good long look at them.
That is why I really enjoy visiting Tom at his bird banding station. It is really nice to get an up-close, prolonged look at the many different birds that he is able to capture, band and release.
It always amazes me just how small the warblers are when you hold them in your hands. It is a wonder how these little creatures are able to brave the elements and to travel so far in migration.
Many thanks to Tom for the opportunity to visit the banding site; and seeing these birds up close should help me on my continuing treasure hunt.