Saturday, October 12, 2013

OK, So I Bled a Little...

   I had the day off work Friday so I planted myself at the banding site and hoped I might have a day filled with White-throated Sparrows or Yellow-rumped Warblers. Those guys didn't show up but I did catch a species I had never handled before and I know now how to do a better job the next time. I walked up to one of my nets and there sat
a Sharp-shinned Hawk! Well that got the old heart beating just a little faster. From handling other raptors I knew 2 things. 1) Talons are sharp and 2) raptors are way faster than me.  So being careful I got the bird out and realized I didn't really know what to look for on this bird for age and sex, etc.. So I dialed my friend Amber (using one hand) and got the low down. What a lifesaver.
   The whole process of banding and measuring went fine. I gauged the leg and put on a #3 band. And then, right at the point I was measuring the tail I found out... Tail is close to foot, foot has sharp talons, I have holes in my thumb...

   Luckily it didn't have that good a grip on me and I was able to finish up the banding and get the bird on its way. What a cool bird to catch and it didn't come at the cost of some small passerine already caught in the net. No pile of feathers nearby.

    I had another interesting catch but I tell that tale next time.


Charlotte Weston said...

Watch the wounds very carefully for infection.

I had a similar experience several years ago and ended up with an infected in 2 fingers. I required antibiotics and ultimately healed just fine.

Very nice catch and pictures!

Charlotte Weston Master Bander
Ct Audubon Coastal Center
Milford. CT

Richard Lewis said...

The worst banding injury that I have had was banding a Sharp-shined. A talon went to the bone of my index finger and stay there until I pried it loose.