Basics of bird banding
In recent years, interest in the annual bird-banding stations provided by the Grand Valley and Black Canyon Audubon chapters has shown a noticeable increase.
Apparently, many birders and non-birders are curious about how and why researchers take the effort to wrap tiny aluminum bands around a songbird’s leg and what the information from such projects might afford.
If you’ve ever been interested in learning the hows and whys of leg banding and might someday wish to assist in the operation, certified bander Amber Carver of the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory will conduct a free Banding Assistant training course during the Black Canyon Audubon migration banding session April 22-May 16 at Ridgway State Park.
The course will cover the core skills necessary for operating a bird banding station, something especially useful for those volunteering during the banding session.
The training will be structured around North American Banding Council guidelines and will help those wishing to become certified banders or banding assistants.
Carver is an NABC-certified trainer who has banded more than 1,500 birds.
Carver emphasized this is not a “crash course” in banding.
“It is intended as a primer for those who would like to know more about how banding stations work,” she said.
Commitments can be for a few days or the entire span of banding.
Training will include how to extract birds from nets and hold and release birds safely.
Trainees also will learn about banding birds and gathering data, but hands-on practice of these skills will not be part of the course.
At the end of the course, trainees will receive a report card that summarizes the skills taught. Future banding-station volunteers can use card as proof of training.