A wide variety of birds are banded each year at Carpenter, depending on migration, weather, and time of the year. Some times they catch a rare bird or something that is sexy but most often they catch regular birds that are in the area. Most people around here would consider the field sparrow a typical bird, not very sexy unless you are another field sparrow. Field sparrows breed in woodland opening and old fields in southern Minnesota during the summer. The males typically come back to the same territory each spring where they immediately begin to sing in hopes of attracting a mate. During the winter these birds leave the fields around here, usually before they become ice fields, and head south for the winter. These pics were taken at Carpenter in September.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Field Sparrows at Carpenter Nature Center.
From time to time I am able to take some time off of work. Frequently when I take a day or half day off it is on a Friday. This gives me an opportunity to visit the Carpenter Nature Center on the day that they are banding passerines. During the warmer months the banding can get quite exciting as mist nets, pictured above, are placed in strategic locations through out the nature center. Mist nets are light weight nets that are dark in color. Built into the nets is a fold or pocket. When the wind is calm the birds do not see the nets as they are flying around in search of food. They hit the net and usually role into the pocket where they get tangled. With a little work, and the help of a tooth pick, the banders untangle the birds and place it in a bag so it can be transported to the spot where they take measurements, record data, and place the band on the birds leg, you can see a band on the bird in the nets above. During the winter it gets too cold to have birds tangled in the nets so during the colder months the banders use ground traps to catch the birds that they band.