Summer 2012: Bird Banding

This summer’s bird breeding study included bird banding.     A total of 116 Wilson’s Plover chicks and 57 Least Tern chicks were banded.    Color bands were organized to create an individual banding combination for each chick.  Wilson’s Plover (WIPL) were only banded with color Darvic bands and Least Tern (LETE) were banded with both color Darvic bands and metal bands.


Banding supplies: Split band application tool (metal objects), Banding sheet, Darvic color split bands, latex gloves.


Metal bands


Least Tern chick getting a metal band.

Most of the chicks were banded at the nest just after hatching.  (The chick is the small dark object in the middle of the dead vegetation on the left side of the photograph below.)


Others were caught on the run…P1050305 Measurements were taken for culmen (the upper ridge of a bird’s bill)…

P1050340and tarsus (part of the leg of a bird below the thigh)…

72503_robintarsus_lg copyrelaxed wing chord (an anatomical measurement of the wing, bent at a 90 degree angle, from the most prominent point of the wrist joint to the most prominent point of the longest primary feather)…

P1030289and mass (weight).P1040961

Banding the chicks provided data on fledge success for each species.


Least Tern chick


Fledged Least Tern


Wilson’s Plover Chick


Fledged Wilson’s Plover

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