August 18, 2013.  BBBO launched its newest educational initiative this summer, holding its first ever Summer Bander Training Course.   The six registered students came from Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and New York, and they were joined by our summer intern from Ohio.

Danica, Jessica, Nichole, Robert, Pam, Amy, and Megan.

Danica, Jessica, Nicki, Bob, Pam, Amy, and Megan.

During their 7 days at Braddock Bay, these students were challenged to learn the basics of passerine banding including net-picking, banding, aging and sexing.  They learned to use Pyle, to age birds by skull and molt limit, and to recognize brood patches.  They learned to set up a station, discussed ethics and the scientific basis for banding, and took three written exams (plus a field test) to demonstrate what they had learned.  And somehow, in between, they found time to enjoy each other’s company.  (Personally, I think I should have stayed at the house with them.  Their dinners sounded AMAZING!).

Megan and Nicki's first day of banding

Megan and Nicki’s first day of banding

Amy and Pam try to figure out how to manage a wiggly bird, a tiny band, and a pliers all at the same time.

Amy and Pam try to figure out how to manage a wiggly bird, a tiny band, and a pliers all at the same time.

Katie observes as Nicki tries to identify a Song Sparrow, while Gayle supervises Bob as he bands a Gray Catbird

Katie observes as Nicki tries to identify a Song Sparrow, while Gayle supervises Bob as he bands a Gray Catbird

Amy gives data to the scribe, Megan tries to identify a Common Yellowthroat, and Danica checks to see if a band is properly closed

Amy gives data to the scribe, Megan tries to identify a Common Yellowthroat, and Danica checks to see if a band is properly closed

Thanks much to all the fantastic volunteers who helped to make this week a success!  Claire, Virginia, Jenna, Gayle, Katie, Ann, Sue, Leanna, Pat (who turned student in the afternoons!), Tom, and Aggie gave their time and talent to nurture these new banders, and Barb, John, Gayle and Pat generously loaned us fans to help keep us cool.

It was a great week overall!