A bird in the hand

What happens when we catch a junco:

We band it with the uniquely numbered US Fish & Wildlife band. This is the first priority because once the bird has this on, we can identify it later even if it escapes. Then we add the three colored leg bands so that we can identify it later even from a distance.

GOAL with his leg bands

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We caught juncos

The first field expedition was a success! Almost exclusively thanks to the ingenuity, good mist netting sense, and all around awesomeness of my three field assistants. Over three sites we banded a total of 18 juncos. And there are many, many juncos still to go!

Since I’m on field time – wake up at 5:30, go to bed at 9:00 – I’m ready to crash, so I’ll leave you with some photos for now, with more info to come in the future.

SSOA, the first junco we banded

ELEA, unintentionally recaptured

Extracting ELEA from the net