Saturday, May 24, 2008

Banding Purple Martins

Purple Martin landlord Susan Pulling put out a call on the bird lists in hopes of finding someone to band her new Martin chicks before they fledged and took off on their journey. The post was not long before the pelagic trip I was scheduled for but said I could help.

Hopefully, they would still be there by the time I arrived. According to her charts, they were set to take flight on the morning of the first chance I had available! We crossed our fingers and watched the clock and the gourds.

The day came. Susan said they were still there and we hurried over to her beautiful Dunedin home. Susan donned plastic gloves and we began extracting the chicks for banding. We tried a box first in hopes of getting a few at a time but they were so close to flight that we quickly decided that one at a time would be the way to go.

Purple Martin

My oldest boy decided to tag along and I coaxed my Dad to join in, also. Someone needed to take photos and I figured he would enjoy the experience.

Purple Martin

Usually when banding, there are at least two people at the table. One banding and one recording data. Today I had double duty.

Purple Martin

Susan looks on as another chick is banded.

Purple Martin

Here, I do a quick check of the just banded bird to see if every thing is A-OK.

Purple Martin

A close-up of a newly banded chick.

Purple Martin

Proud landlord and bander. This is Susan's first attempt to attract Martins and it turned out to be a great success. Next year, she will check through scopes to see if any of these same chicks return as adults to raise a new generation.

Purple Martin

A fun new experience for all of us. Reports are that the chicks all left the very next day!


Anonymous said...

Have enjoyed reading your blog Drew. Keep the great pics coming.


J. Andrew Boyle said...

Thanks, phantom. Now I just need to catch up!

Looks like if I need some dragonfly IDs I know where to turn!