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.
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.