Bird Banding is for the birds

Last Saturday morning Ann and I were invited to observe the banding of birds at Dan Brown’s Hummer House, near Christoval, Texas.  When we arrived about 8:00 AM the mist nets were up and the bird snaring was under way.  The banding was done by Concho Valley Bird Banding, a licensed group led by Charles Floyd.  For those who are uninformed about bird banding, these licensed banders catch birds, document the specie, record age, etc, then attach tiny metal bands to the leg.  This band has information on it so the bird can be traced.

White-eyed Vireo in mist net

The birds are not endangered in any way.  The mist net is so called because it is so fine that you can walk into it without realizing it is there.  The banders locate the nets in locations where there is the most bird activity.  They wait an hour or so, then they “run” the nets, picking off the tiny birds, which they deposit in little pouches hanging from their jackets or belts.  They then return to their work area, which is a table set up nearby.  They examine the birds, record the pertinent data and attache the bands.  After photographing them, they are released.

Bander Charles Floyd running the nets

It is a great opportunity to get close-up photographs of the different species.  I have included here some of my images from there.

Painted Bunting

Indigo Bunting

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Wilson's Warbler

Pine Siskin

I hope you have enjoyed this narrative and the images.  Click on any photo to see enlargements.

15 thoughts on “Bird Banding is for the birds

  1. This is not only interesting but you have some wonderful photographs. My Mother, who lives in Florida, loved the painted bunting pair that visited her home for many seasons. She still talks about them and I will share your blog with her so she can see her favorite bird. Thank you!

  2. Beautiful, sharp images. It’s good to see them in-hand like that. It give such a good sense of scale. There is a place north of here that does banding and invites the public to participate. I hope to get up there this summer.

    • Thanks, Holly. You’re right, it was enjoyable photographing those birds up close. It was something different, however, I much more prefer photographing them in the natural habitat.


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