Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Dangerous Life of a Bird Bander

Today's banding session at the Lowry Nature Center near Victoria, Minnesota was slow and actually quite disappointing for the month of March. With the warmer temps earlier this week we were hoping for some migrants to have moved into the area but it appeared as though stuff left but nothing moved in behind it. There is a truism in banding though that one good bird can wipe away any disappointment and make the whole day worthwhile. This was one of those days. While we sat and watched our traps remain empty and saw our net blowing in the breeze we weren't prepared for the arrival of a Pileated Woodpecker (a second year female) that flew straight into the net and was quickly in hand. Exciting! Noteworthy! Unusual! But dangerous??? Check out the photo below to see what happened to my hand as I held the bird so people could get a photo before we released it. Blood spilled in the name of science. Wounds to wear with pride. Bring on the Grosbeaks!






A couple of photos of the culprit.




It takes 2 to band a Pileated Woodpecker.

video

Photos aand video courtesy of Susie Henderson.

11 comments:

baron said...

As relatively new to the birding and blogging scene I have really enjoyed your efforts in this fascinating hobby. Now that I'm retired from teaching (h.s. and later m.s.) I have the time to pursue it.

Wilsonsplover said...

Wonderful video. That is my greatest fear, catching a PIWO being as I band alone and knowing I would never be able to get a band on it by myself!!!!

mon@rch said...

Wow, such an amazing experience and I hope one day to get the opportunity to band one of these guys!

Young Naturalist J said...

WOW, that damage to the hand is huge compared to what I thought I had with a Downy and a Hairy! Congrats on the good bird though! Looks very very very painful!

hellziggy said...

Very cool!

~the other Sharon

RuthieJ said...

OUCH!!
Sounds like she definitely did not approve of being "man" handled!
Very neat to see the close-up photos of such a nice woodpecker.

Mary said...

When I was banding in the seventies
(the time, not my age) I captured TWO pileateds in my net at the same time.
It was exhilarating and painful. Nice photos.

birdchick said...

Dude, I'm hanging out with the wrong banders.

kayceebeebee said...

She sounds like she's crying! What a beautiful bird. They are so exciting to see in the yard.

Lynne said...

OMG! Such cool photos! You should wear your battle scars proudly.

Owlman said...

Awesome woodpecker and lovely video. I'd love to get hooked up a bander in NJ...