Over the Labour Day weekend we took notice to some banded birds visiting our bird feeders.
First off was this male Baltimore Oriole. You cannot see the band in this photo but I love this shot and had to share... and really I am not one for birds on bird feeder shots overall.
A better view of the band here, and our point of view of him, zoomed in of course, from where we sit out back and watch all the action fly in.
It took some time and a bunch of photos before I was finally able to get a partial band number on this bird being 22 over 952.
I started putting the question out on where I could possibly submit these numbers and hopefully get a little information about the bird, like where he was banded. I wasn't having any luck until I was told of an 800 number to a bird banding office that I never knew about, I was told that they may be able to help me even with a partial number. So I called them up and we started talking. Initially she thought the bird was dead and that is why I was calling it in. She got pretty excited once the story was fully told and the Oriole is alive and well, visiting our feeder and I got a partial number with my 500mm lens. In the end she made no promises on getting information but did promise they will research this the best they can, it will take some time, and perhaps they will have something to share with me. I thanked her and have had my fingers crossed ever since.
For us, it would be so cool to learn where this bird got banded. We all know Orioles are migratory birds and hang with us in the summer months and winter over in the far southern USA while some travel even further south to parts of Mexico or even South America. But to know an exact place this guy landed that wasn't here is interesting to us. I bet if you had one in your yard, you'd like to know too.
Unfortunately Mr. Oriole left after the long weekend and I can only hope to maybe see him again in May 2014.
And while this was happening, little did I realize a certain American Goldfinch visiting us is also banded. A smaller bird with a smaller band and the only reason I discovered this was I walked past her one early evening and took her photo for the heck of it. Later upon loading the pic on the computer did I notice a bit of the band on her leg. I was quite excited and couldn't wait for the following day to hopefully spot her again.
First shot of the Goldfinch.
The very next day I saw her numerous times but couldn't get a shot. Yet another day later, I had myself down on one knee in the muddy strawberry patch shooting up at her leg and lucked out with some numbers of her tiny band. It looks like 21 over 8. And I see the band was put on upside down as well.
This Finch is not keen on the photo sessions and me paying too much attention to her. She started flying off sooner than later when I had my camera pointed at her. She'd never fly far but upon first spook, I back off and let her return to eat. I'd try shooting from a distance which was pointless for getting those much desired numbers off her leg. Occasionally I did succeed but every time it was the same numbers. Finally today, 4 days later, I got more of the band. Looks like 222 over 92 in this one.
I'm wondering if I'm correct to piece it together as an even closer full number with 2221 over 928?
She's been around everyday for the past week now. I will keep trying for more leg photos and hopefully can put together a full band number. The numbers on each line can be 4 or 5 digits. When I feel confident on this one, I will definitely make the call in about her. I'd love to be able to share what I have learned about each bird to you all. :)
I guess this has been a little bit of pay off for spending more time at home the last bunch of weeks instead of out and about looking for birds elsewhere.