I can't conclude my posts about bird banding without showing you one more glimpse of what I found so captivating about this activity. First and foremost, it's about helping our birds, about gathering information that will help us understand changes and give us a sound basis for making conservation decisions. Secondly, it's about people who love birds. About bird lovers who are willing to dedicate their time and energy as volunteers and in this case, spend hours in the field collecting data while at the same time, remaining mindful of the care and protection of the birds that provide that data.
Meet a juvenile White-eyed vireo, above and below.
And with her mouth open, you can also see this juvenile's yellow gape and a bit of her fiesty vireo attitude. Attitude is as much a part of bird recognition as the color and shape we find in our field guides, though in smaller birds we see it more seldom. For me its the fun part, the purely captivating part that settles into my heart when I meet a bird.
White-eyed vireos were new for me this year. And this juvenile, in particular, was alert, checked everybody out and had a comment or two. When she happily flew away to resume her bird life, she left an impression that I will forever connect to White-eyed vireos.
Now meet an Ovenbird, a bird that radiates a gentle sweetness and one we don't often expect to find in a valley meadow.
sketches and paints birds, this was, of course, my favorite aspect of bird banding, the upclose details, the amazing beauty and array of colors in the plumage, the perfect way shape, color and attitude come together to make each bird uniquely suited for its habitat and lifestyle. When you really stop to consider all this variety and perfection, it is breath taking
I did try my hand at recording data and watched intently while birds were extracted from the net, but there is a considerable learning curve here and I've barely begun the climb. Still, the opportunity for learning even more and having intimate interaction with birds, combined with the vital contribution this activity makes to their continued health and survival, makes for a compelling combination. And as I learned many years ago with Golden eagles and Whooping cranes, for me, birds are a matter of the heart. And when your heart takes the lead, anything can happen
To see my entire series on bird banding, click here. Scroll to the bottom to find the first post.
Linked to Bird Photography Weekly #50, at Birdfreak.com, to raise awareness of the conservation of our world's birds.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Bird Banding and Matters of the Heart
Posted by Vickie at 12:00 PM
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Ocean Trail at Palos Verdes Nature Preserve, California--2015
Bird-banding at Seven Islands State Birding Park--2014
Bird-banding at Seven Islands
Enjoying Gray Jays in Churchill!--2014
Smithsonian National Zoo with one of my Whooping Crane banners and son, John--2014
The Incredible Muir Woods near Stinson Beach, CA--2014
Me and Denali--2012
For the Love of It...
...the sage sees heaven reflected in Nature as in a mirror, and he pursues this Art, not for the sake of gold or silver, but for the love of the knowledge which it reveals.
You really inspire me. I must go to more bird bandings and observe. I have been to a few..never stuck around for the full day. I think I would like to do that sometimes..and observe closely what happens.
Thanks for you caring, insight,and art.
Beautiful reflections on your bird banding experiences. I've never had the chance to participate in a bird banding, but I think I would love it and after reading your posts about it I'll definitely try to seek some out in my area. Birds are definitely a matter of the heart for me as well, and I would be totally captivated by such close-up encounters! Plus I'm very interested in all the science aspects of it as well.ReplyDelete
I like the attention to detail you bring as an artist, noticing all sorts of colors, etc. that a more casual observer might not take in at first. I bet such close viewings help add a whole new dimension to your sketches and paintings.
Bravo, Vickie! From the heart always wins :) Thanks so for sharing.ReplyDelete
Beautiful, beautiful post! I love those cute little feet. I've never seen them up close like that. The details are amazing of the bird's eyes and feathers as well. Love the narrative.ReplyDelete
simply beautifully captured shots....lovely!ReplyDelete
I continue to envy people who do banding - very up and close and personal with the birds. Thanks for the photos.ReplyDelete
Vickie, lovely pictures and I love how you comment on the personality of the birds - wonderful to follow your blogReplyDelete
what a great series of posts and what gorgeous pix. looking forward to the sketches :)ReplyDelete
Excellent series on banding Vickie and this post really tops it off. I think birding and conservation in general are matters of the heart and I think that is why most of us are engaged in these activities.ReplyDelete
Your accounts of the banding activities and your close up captures of the individual birds are indeed breath taking! The feather detail on the Vireo and Ovenbird are amazing and I love the photo of the feet!
Thank you so much for bringing this super series to us so that we could experience your passion.