Day 2 of the Teen Bander Training class was a complete success, despite another morning with few birds.  The students spent the morning net-picking, scribing and learning bird topography.  I was thoroughly impressed with their ability to remember unfamiliar terms like ‘furculum’ and ‘lores.’  After a break for lunch, we had a great discussion on ethics.  The students drew “what should you do if . . . “ questions out of a hat, and we were delighted with their astute and well thought out answers.   We had a brief discussion about why people band birds, followed by an overview of the scientific method and how banding can contribute to our pool of knowledge.  The next item on our busy agenda was an activity on noticing field marks and using them to identify birds, and we closed the day by practicing with the banding tools.  The students held a rolled-up bird bag in one hand (to simulate an actual bird), and then practiced opening the pliers with the other hand, using and reading the ruler and calipers, massing the bird, and releasing it safely.  Tomorrow will be a big day as most of the class will band their first birds!

Today there were 35 new bands on 10 species, and 15 recaps.  We were not yet overwhelmed with Yellow Warblers, but there are signs that migration is underway.  Yellow Warbler was bird of the day with 10 banded (up from 3 yesterday), and one of them had a fat score of “4” which means it was fueled up and ready to go.  With winds from the north tonight, perhaps tomorrow will be a busy day!

Bella scribes as Gayle bands an American Redstart. Photo by Andrea Patterson