The Fall banding season ended on November 8th. Now it’s “Winter” banding and will be right through to April 1st. Winter banding is much more….relaxed let’s say. Band when you feel like it sort of stuff. Well, not exactly. We are going to make a concerted effort to attract and band Snow Buntings but that’s another story (and one I’ll start to tell you if and when we attract and band any).
This morning Christine and Nancy started the herculean task of cleaning out the banding lab – getting rid of the junk that has accrued over the years and organizing everything that isn’t deemed to be junk. They’re pretty brave.
So, why not take this time to open the nets at the feeders and run a few traps? And so we did. There’s not a lot of birds around but we did band a new one for the season – a Pine Siskin. We also had a VERY interesting American Goldfinch: it had only one leg. The left leg was completely missing – not broken off, no stump, nothing. It appeared to be quite healthy. When I released it, it flew up into the tree tops where it perched without any seeming trouble; you’d never know it had only one leg.
2 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Pine Siskin
10 American Goldfinches
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
2 Downy Woodpeckers
1 Blue Jay
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
3 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Dark-eyed Junco
4 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 18 spp.
I think you seriously need to consider whether you may have developed a banding addiction.
First you say ‘That’s it, we’re done for the year.” Then it’s ‘Well we have to take down nets – so just one quick round of the nets.” Now the excuse is all about cleaning up the lab – but you just can’t resist a little bit of banding – just a few. And you’re even hinting at banding in the snow!
I think someone needs to ask you some tough questions. Like:
Do you sometimes find yourself looking inappropriately at the frozen chickens in Loblaws?
Do you get anxious at the sight of ‘ordinary’ pliers?
Does your wife sometimes catch you trying to read the number on her wedding band?
Do you really enjoy volleyball – or are you waiting for someone to get caught in the net?
These are tough questions that should be asked. Acknowledging that you have the ‘problem’ is the first step to recovery.