Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bird Banding Day

We visited a local nature center today for a wonderful up close opportunity to observe bird banding. I saw a note in a parenting magazine that mentioned that today was bird banding day. Since we are studying birds for school, I thought I would take a chance and take the kids to this nature center and investigate bird banding. You never know when you chase this kind of activity down...not sure if it is worth the drive and the sacrifice of your "typical" school day. Well...this day was well worth the drive. It was one of our best school days ever. A day that the kids will not forget for a long time.

When we first got to the nature center we found a carolina wren nest with 3 baby birds in it. We also found a snake that was interested in these birds as a meal. No worries...the snaked moved on and let them be.

When we got to the park, we first learned about how the naturalists catch the birds in different traps. Today they were using the mist net trap.This park has a great bird viewing area with different feeders that attract different kinds of birds. We saw american goldfinches, wood peckers and even chipmunks at the feeders.
The park was full of school groups and we were able to listen in on what they were learning at the banding table. The naturalists let us follow them to the traps and look for birds. Here they are getting a bird out of the net.

After taking the bird back to the table they first weigh the bird and start to record their findings. The bird is in a mesh bag while they weigh it.

The next step is to look to see if the bird has been banded before. They are hoping to find birds that have bands. It helps with the research to find banded birds again. Different size birds use different bands. Here they are measuring the birds wing. This helps determine the age of the bird and the sex of the bird.


This is also when they are recording the specific coloring. Here is a female cardinal. The top picture is a white throated sparrow. While we were there they trapped 7 of these.Notice all the different bans on the table (they look like necklaces). This day they banded about 10-15 different kinds of birds, plus trapped many more birds that already had bands.
After all their info is gathered they let the bird go. Tristen was able release a red eyed vireo bird.We finally started nature journals and brought them and recorded some great info. We listed all the birds they banded that day along with lots of different things the girls learned. This was a great nature center (different post...different time). I am so glad we took the chance to check it out.

11 comments:

Cindy said...

what a great day! Looks like a great nature center! BTW-don't know if I menitoned-I like your new header!

Lee and Bev said...

Thanks for sharing abour your great day! What a fun educational field trip!

ScienceGeek said...

Looks like an awesome field trip! I love it when things come together like that-what great timing to find that just as you're doing your bird study. I'm sure the girls learned tons, and in a way that will stick with them forever.

Salzwedel Family said...

This does look like fun! What a great day.

Susan said...

Very interesting. Glad it turned out to be a great field trip day!! Seems like it would be hard for them to hold those little birds still while trying to bad them without hurting them...
The "nature journal" is a great idea...it can include not just the birds but other outsidey study units too, huh? Super.

Julie said...

What a great field trip, I love stuff like that!

fitncrafty said...

This looks like such a great experience for all.. Great photos of it too!

and I just lOVE your new header photo... it is beautiful!

carrie said...

How fun! It is so great that you have so many great opportunities around you!

Smith Schoolhouse said...

how fun! so glad you found a good nature spot.

Crystal said...

How great!!! I love birds and I am always amazed by how God has made so many different kinds even in my own backyard. What a special treat to get to release a Red Eyed Vireo! They came be hard to spot in nature as they are usually so high up in the trees.

If the girls are interested you should start a "Life List" and list all the birds you have seen. I am always on the look out for a "Life Bird" to add to my list : )

Spring is so GREAT for birding, ENJOY!!!

Randi Sue said...

I love days like that!