Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Raptor Banding

Not at Lake Lotus today but the gang was still busy banding.

We got the call to return to the Avian Reconditioning Center to see if we could band some raptors that were to be released back into the wild soon. Several species were represented plus a special 'bonus' bird we were not told of prior to arrival. I got there with the boys before 10 AM (much to their reluctance to wake on a day off) and Carol had to move one of the other birds that was not being banded so we all got a nice close up of a Barred Owl before things got underway.

Barred Owl

Soon, the raptors were be gathered up and brought in for their new jewelry. First up was our surprise bird. A Burrowing Owl fledgling! A rare treat.

Burrowing Owl

Next, it was time for the Cooper's Hawks. Several birds were ready to be banded and the boys got their first chance to watch the banding here. They have come with me banding at other locations to see smaller birds banded before but have had fewer chances to see larger birds up close. Except for the Cooper's Hawk I brought into the house after catching out back a couple years ago...

Cooper's Hawk

Carol brings out one of the Cooper's and shows us how some of the tail feathers were injured.

Cooper's Hawk

Then the bird gets its own special leg wear.

Cooper's Hawk

Allison, one of the volunteers today holds the next bird in line as Richard applies the band.

Cooper's Hawk

A beautiful bird close up.

Cooper's Hawk

Another special treat for the morning. A young Eastern Screech Owl.
Too cute!

Screech Owl

The last species of the day, American Kestrels. We had three females to band before their release.

American Kestrel

A closer look at a Kestrel. The images are darker as we need to close the door so these speedsters don't escape our grasp.

American Kestrel

Banding was done but I had to take a look at a couple other birds in the cages. There was a nice Barn Owl fluttering around the enclosure.

Barn Owl

Just behind the Owl was a very vocal Harris Hawk brought down from Tennessee. Scott hopes to teach it along with their resident Harris Hawk in the future.

Harris Hawk

More birds will get our attention for banding in the near future. Can't wait. Always an interesting time.

The Avian Reconditioning Center has a web site and are open to the public on Saturdays. Check for news and directions there. They also have an Adopt-a-Bird program if anyone is interested in helping with the funding to care for some of these remarkable birds.

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