Archive for June 5th, 2009

Bird Banding, 2

Friday, June 5th, 2009

Passport to Texas from Texas Parks and Wildlife and the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program

I’ve seen some pigeons up close before, but that’s the only bird that I’ve seen up close.

That’s San Antonio resident Marisa Harris, before participating in the program Bird in the Hand at Guadalupe River State Park.

It’s a bird banding program. We catch the birds at a bird feeding station we set up, and bring people and the birds together in a very hands-on, kind of personal way.

Craig Hensley, a certified bird bander, oversees the program. He routinely catches, tags, and releases birds for research and monitoring purposes, and wants others to have the same opportunity to see birds up close.

They learn to identify them, and once they learn how I go about aging and determining whether it’s a male or female, I can actually hold up the bird and go, “OK, what do ya’ll think?” You see how these feathers right here have a tannish edge? And you see how their rounded, not flat? So what does that tell me? Is that an adult bird or a baby bird? An adult? An adult bird? Exactly! I try to bring the science together with the kids so that not only are they learning some scientific methodologies that are really used in terms of birds, once I band a bird and we’ve recorded all the data one of our volunteers will take that bird out with the child and the child will help let that bird go. On your hand, alright? Now let it go. [flutters] there it goes!

That’s our show…with research and writing help from Sarah Loden…we produce our show with a grant from the Sport Fish and Wildlife Restoration Program… For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.