Monday, January 21, 2008

Br-r-r-r-d Banding 01-19

Against better judgment but at the insistence of an attending group that had made earlier plans, I banded birds for forty-five minutes this past Saturday. Thankfully everything went well, especially for the three Black-capped Chickadees we trapped, banded, measured and released back into the minus seven degrees Fahrenheit day. I was surprised at the group's applause at the end of the program; I hope I and my volunteers provided some educational moments (thank you, my helpers!).
In handling those three birds, I encountered a most curious phenomenon. I imagine this happens all the time, but it is just more noticeable in the extreme cold. Each bird's body was warm yet its legs and feet were quite cold. By the time the bird was to be released, its legs were back to "normal" temperature. Thermal regulation at its best!
With luck, by the third Saturday in February my next bird banding program won't be quite as chilly.

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