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Posts Tagged ‘bird banding station’

Last weekend I again visited the bird banding station at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge and was thrilled to see the friendly folks there process a pair of Golden-crowned Kinglets (Regulus satrapa), which are among the smallest birds in our area. Bands come in all different sizes and kinglets require the absolutely smallest-sized bands.

Here are some shots of the encounter including the initial processing of the bird; the actual banding of the bird (note its tiny legs); examination of the feathers of the bird; and the moment before the release of one of the little birds by a young visitor.

I love the fact that I was able to get so much closer to the bird and see so many wonderful details about its feathers and coloration than I would ever be able to do in the wild. As the old saying goes, “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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This week I visited the bird banding station at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This is a very small operation, run almost entirely by volunteers, that bands mostly smaller songbirds.

While I was there, they captured a Carolina Wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus) and a Brown Thrasher (Toxostoma rufum). Both birds were weighed, measured, and examined. The tiny Carolina Wren already had a band from a previous year and the much larger Thrasher got a band. The bands come in all sizes—it was amazing to see the range of sizes.

When it was time to release the wren, one of the volunteers handed her over to me. It was such an amazing feeling to hold the little bird in my hand and then to slowly release my grip and feel the tiny points of her little feet press down on my palm as she took to the air.

Click this link For more info on the banding station including hours of operation.

Carolina Wren

Carolina Wren

Brown Thrasher

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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