Gratitude… and Hawk Banding

Gratitude… and Hawk Banding

My heart is full of love and gratitude. Thank you for taking time out of your Tuesday and giving FSH Muscular Dystrophy some of your attention. Thank you for checking out my blog posts, and liking, commenting, and sharing posts on Facebook. Thank you for taking time to offer a smile to a stranger 🙂 And, thank you for continuing to join me on this journey…

Last Tuesday’s post received more than 400 views from 22 countries. Wow.

One of my goals for the year was to raise awareness of FSH Muscular Dystrophy. Together, on Tuesday, we made tremendous progress towards meeting that goal. Together, we will #CureFSHD.

And now back to those bird pictures I promised…

A week ago Saturday I had the opportunity to observe hawk banding at three Coopers Hawk nests. This experience will remain one of the highlights of my birding year.

Here are a few facts I learned:

Why band: bird banding is an “indispensable technique for studying the movement, survival and behavior of birds”*(1)

Timing: timing is everything, and for these little ones there was a small window of opportunity for banding. If the hawks were too young, as they were in one of the three nests, they were too young to band. And perhaps just a week later, hawks at the other two nests might have been too old to band due to risk of early fledging.

What about the parents: One myth to address is that banding will cause the parents to abandon their offspring. This just isn’t so. In fact, parents most often promptly return to feed their little ones – sometimes even before the bander returns to the ground! During my day of observing the banding, perhaps the most impressive demonstration of this was watching the first nest, as mama hawk kept a close eye on what was going on, circling and flying between the row of trees surrounding the nest and another nearby tree. Shortly after the banding was finished, she returned to the nest and was observed feeding her little ones.

The importance of reporting: “The value of banding data is only fully realized when banded birds are recovered and band numbers reported to the Bird Banding Laboratory”*(2)

To learn more about bird banding, please visit… *(1) https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/BBl/homepage/aboutbanding.cfm or *(2) https://www.fws.gov/birds/surveys-and-data/bird-banding.php

For information about reporting a found banded bird, please visit https://www.fws.gov/birds/surveys-and-data/bird-banding/reporting-banded-birds.php or https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbl/bblretrv/index.cfm

Here are several of my favorite pictures from the day…

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A little one, curious about who is arriving at the nest (60+ feet up in a tree!)…

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that same little one attempting to look fierce…

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I received many requests this week for an update on my progress for the year. I’m pleased to share I enjoyed great views and lots of songs from several Dickcissel this week, bird species #150 of 2017. 🙂

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With gratitude,
Deb xoxo

6 thoughts on “Gratitude… and Hawk Banding

  1. SOOOOOO beautiful — so adorable — in every way! those sweet fluffy baby hawks. and such an honor to smile knowing it was beaming back some degree of light on you. amazing 400 views from 22 countries. your radiant light shines across the globe….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a wonderful and informative post. Keep up the great job! I’d say the year has been a huge success already! So impressive and inspiring! Keep up the great work! We’re with you all the way! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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