May 2015: Banding the Chicks (page 1 of 2)
1. Our neighborhood chicks continue to develop and thrive. One of the chicks, Fern, got her nickname from the ferns her parents pulled up to make their nest. She enjoys some of the surviving ferns.
2. Another chick is Weber, out enjoying the sun on the drive way. Taken about three weeks ago, the photo shows some of Weber’s adult body feathers where the baby fuzz has dropped out. Notice how he looks like he is sitting on his “knees”.
3. He is actually balancing on the joint in his leg, rocking back and forth.
4. May 6 was banding day for the young birds. Two teams of state employees conducted the process. Weber is experiencing the first step – being gently held by one bander while the other team member applies two bands, one to each leg. The holder has to grasp the beak to insure the agitated chick does not draw blood by pecking, which has happened in the past.
5. The holder also keeps the wings close to the body until the bird is ready for release.
6. Weber is free, none the worse for the procedure. The banding teams rely on records kept by Cathy, the local volunteer, to identify nest locations. Of course, these records also tie the chick’s number back to the parents.
Continued next page -- link below.