Shot a banded greenhead on December 6th 2008 and I didn’t get around to reporting it until today. Although I had hopes that it was banded in some exotic location the fact is that it was banded in California on August 3, 2008.
Not as exciting as Alberta, but it’s always nice to see a band on a downed bird. I’ll receive a certificate down the road and it will probably give me more information about the location where the bird was banded, age of bird and who banded it. Just for the fun of it I may give them a call.
About fifteen years ago, I spent one summer as a bander at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. Once each week I would drive to the Golden Gate Recreation Area and spend a day catching and banding raptors.
Since I was a rookie, I didn’t get to catch and band as many raptors as some of the regulars, but I got to do my share. It was exciting waiting and anticipating the capture and very educational holding and banding the birds.
It was most exciting when one of the bands from a bird I banded, a sharp shinned hawk, was recovered and reported.
Typical birds were red-tailed hawks, Cooper’s hawks and sharp shinned hawks. We captured most of them with bow nets and mist nets.
And, those suckers can really sink their claws into you if you make a wrong move, which happened with the sharpie mentioned above.
The bait for attracting the raptors was live pigeons and starlings. Red tails would line up on those birds from far away and come down in a blur. Most of the time a quick release of the bow net would save the bait bird from injury, but not always.
It was an interesting look at an unusual facit of wildlife conservation.