March 4th, 2008

On your marks…get set…..
And that’s about where we are – getting set. I spent the morning at the banding lab getting the banding data and log books ready; filed or refiled last year’s retrap cards (we’ve accumulated quite an extensive record – all we need is a university student with a penchant for biostatistics….); put reinforcers on all the holes of the pages going into the data/log books. Didn’t have enough time or gumption to give it a good sweep. While doing this I decided to put out some traps (it was a little too windy for the nets). Mother Nature is such a tease: +11 degrees yesterday; -2 degrees this morning and RAW. So there were a lot of birds around the feeders – including over 30 Common Redpolls. The most noteworthy sighting was a flock of 14 Tundra Swans heading SW toward the Turkey Point/Long Point Marshes. Betsy Smith had photographed some yesterday in Cayuga but these were the first for Ruthven. Things are starting to move.

Banded 15:
1 Northern Cardinal
11 American Tree Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos

Retrapped 17:
2 Northern Cardinals
7 American Tree Sparrows
8 Dark-eyed Juncos


7 thoughts on “March 4th, 2008

  1. When I was out in BC I helped out a bander who recorded all his data on a handheld computer. This was so that he could upload it into Excel and save himself having to enter data twice and minimize the risk of copyist errors.

    I was thinking you could do that, or even get a cheap laptop or desktop computer, since you’re indoors with electricity. It would make the job a lot more interesting for the university student you referred to.

  2. Well Rick, now you have two people telling you that you need a computer for data entry. I’m guessing that isn’t going to change alot.

    Pete, when you say a ‘handheld computer’, do you mean something like a palm?

    The concern with using a computer in the past has been the potential for data loss. Data can be backed up daily, but if the computer is subject to a surge partway through a day’s banding effort, data could be lost. Any suggestions?

  3. Also, which banding station did you visit in BC that was using a computer for data entry?

  4. Don’t think we haven’t thought about this. I think I would still generate a paper copy and transpose from that. I would like to have a laptop so we could do that tranposing at the end of each day. I’m just really concerned about a glitch of some sort before we had a chance to back up that day’s data.

  5. Paper records would likely work better for those times when we have multiple banders and a sole,harried scribe.

    I believe it is also difficult to get bird poop off of a keyboard…

  6. I’m still off work and willing to help out. Tell me when and where! I’m still willing to do the data entry we discussed Rick.

  7. Dear Cats: I appreciate your offer but McMaster students, in the name of a thesis, have taken on that task.

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