Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bird banding at OSU

I tagged along on the EEOB's Ornithology class field trip last Wednesday. They met at the wood lot on the Waterman Farm, which is just a few blocks from where I live.

The class usually encounters these grad students who are studying bird migration and have an active banding program going on at the wood lot.

Here's a newly banded Swainson's Thrush. Notice the buffy spectacles? That's an excellent field mark for identifying this thrush.

We went with Steve, one of the grad students, to the mist net to see if anything else had been caught in the 15 minutes or so since the net had last been checked.

Sure enough, there was a bird caught and ready to be banded.

Unfortunately, it had also tangled up its tongue in the net so Steve had to carefully untangle the thread from around the bird's tongue.

This is a Gray-cheeked thrush and it took a bit of careful work to untangle it from the net.

Sometimes a twig is needed to pry open the mandibles, but this bird was a bit more cooperative.

Patience, patience, and lots of skill here.

There - got it. Another bit of work to ease the mandibles open again to rearrange things and the bird is back to how it's supposed to be.

This is a very nice view of a Gray-cheeked Thrush. No buffy spectacles, barely an eye ring, and no rufous coloring on any part of the bird = Gray-cheeked rather than some other kind of thrush.

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