Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Banding Goes Great!

The Columbus banding event went extremely well. We believe, based on overall size that both chicks are females. The kids who won the naming contest were extremely enthusiastic to help put one of the leg bands on "their" falcon.

Believe it or not we sometimes get criticism from a few individuals for banding these birds. It's a shame that people do not undertand the significance of banding. The process is important for research purposes (how else would we know where our Columbus young disperse to and that it is Scout nesting in Columbus and where she came from?); and 2.) the actual banding event really helps to raise awareness about the species and wildlife conservation in general. Only a handful of people actually are able to attend the banding, however, live streaming the event makes it available to the world.

Regarding the naming contest, we are able to educate an entire school about peregrine falcons and increase the appreciation of the kids for wild creatures in their communities. Besides each individual student, through conversations the interest, knowledge and excitement is transferred to their parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, neighbors and so on and so on. Consider it an investment in the future!

While the chicks and adults may be stressed during the event they recover very, very quickly. We know from many years of banding many nestlings, that an hour out of the lives of these birds is well worth the exposure that the species receives resulting in increased education and awareness of people all over.

Here are the details on names/bands. Each bird received a purple U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service band on the right leg and a black over red band (b/r) on the left leg:
Swoop: 08/Y
Spirit: 09/Y

At some point in the near future we should have a video of the banding available on our website. It will take a little time for editing. As soon as it's ready and posted, I'll post the link here. Thanks to everyone for watching the banding! Now we prepare for the next stage--fledging! It won't be long!