Monday, December 31, 2012

Our World Tuesday - Tern Banding

Happy New Year!

It has become a bit of a tradition that I go wader banding (ringing for you in the UK) for a couple of days between Christmas and New Year.  This year I could only manage a single day - and at first we caught no waders!  There were lost about, but they never seemed to be where the nets were!

However, we did find a flock of about 100 or so Whiskered Terns (Chlidonias hybrida) in a catchable location, so we ended up with a catch of about 70 of these splendid birds.  We also trapped a single Fairy Tern (Sterna nereis), but it was banded and released before I got a chance to photograph it (sad face!)

If you get a chance to become involved in a banding session I would recommend that you give it a go - the chance to see the birds close up is remarkable.

So, our birds were banded, measured, weighed, aged and given an orange let flag.  We also had a group of vets with us who were collecting samples from places on the birds that are best not mentioned in polite company! This was all if the name of science and the monitoring of avian flu.

Strangely, the banded birds often hang about close to where they were banded, sorting out their feathers and regaining their dignity, before they fly off.






As you can see the birds are not always that pleased to be helping expand the frontiers of human knowledge.  The whole finder bite is not a problem, but it can be a bit sharp if they get hold of the fleshy sections between your fingers - or worse, if they get hold of a small cut!

You can find more shots from around the world at Our World Tuesday

Enjoy the pictures.

23 comments:

holdingmoments said...

Must be great to be able to get so close to birds like that.
I'm sure that last picture sums up how they feel about it though lol

ladyfi said...

Not sure if my comment got through...

What great shots! And lovely experience for you - if not for the birds.

Vineeta Yashswi said...

Good job...

eileeninmd said...

How cool and awesome closeups. I would love to go on a banding outing! Thanks for sharing your experience. Stewart, Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Years!

Carole M. said...

interesting post and great photographs. Is intruiging that they don't fly away some before sorting out their plumage - maybe it feels uncomfortable to fly until they get them in the right place again...

Fun60 said...

A worthwhile way to spend a day but those beaks sure look sharp. Happy New Year.

Phil said...

70 out of a 100, that's some percentage Stewart. A great experience too, especially me never having ringed any tern!

Adam Tilt said...

Bird ringing is something that I'd love to get into in the next couple of years. Great post and a very happy new year.

Sylvia K said...

Terrific captures for the day, Stewart!! What a great experience -- at least for you!! Love the close-ups of the birds! Wishing you and your family a very Happy New Year!!

Sylvia

TexWisGirl said...

must be quite an experience - for them and you. :)

pattisjarrett said...

I always wondered how that is accomplished. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Gail Dixon (Louisiana Belle) said...

Fascinating stuff! I always think I want to get really close to birds, but they kind of freak me out. If one bit me I don't know what I'd do. Always something interesting to see and read here!

Gary said...

Great post!! Happy New Year. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Photo Cache said...

Health and wealth this coming year. A grace-laden new year to you and yours.

Gemma Wiseman said...

Banding seems to be an amazing experience! How you manage to capture the birds to band them I don't know! But a wonderful photo opportunity! Fascinating photos!

mick said...

Best wishes for the new year! Great photos of some of the banded birds - you are fortunate to have the opportunity to go out on such an interesting birding day.

Kerri said...

Outstanding captures!!

Carol L McKenna said...

Wonderful shots ~ Happy New Year ^_^

(A Creative Harbor aka ArtMuseDog and Carol ^_^)

Jeannette StG said...

Yes that beak looks like it could do some harm:) Happy New Year to you and yours!

DIMI said...

Hallo Stewart!What great shots! And lovely experience for you!Happy New Year to you and your family!Hope you had a geat time!
Dimi..

Kusum Sanu said...

I am sure that must be a lovely experience! I like the way bird inside a pipe!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That has to be a most wonderful experience! Wow! Happy New Year to you all.

Zandarmid Photography said...

Cool stuff, Stuart. Happy New Year! Here's hoping you get to see many beautiful birds this year, preferably without getting bitten. :-)