Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Molesting Chicks........For Science.

Bird banding requires the bander to crimp a metal ring around a birds leg. Birds have hallow bones, making their legs particularly delicate. Why then would you ever consider using pliers and stainless steel bands anywhere near them? The answer is simple. Birds, unlike humans have faces that look exactly the same. All birds in a given species look virtually identicle. Given our species affinity for aggressive land use, we need to be sure that our activities do not interfere with the vitality of wildlife populations. It is important than to be able to recognize the individuals.

Hence, bird banding. To a birder, this is like making the haj, of touching the wailing wall. It is the closest you can really interact with a bird, and have a good reason to do it. Of course we can tell ourselves that we are doing the good work, and helping people learn the good knowledge. The real reason though? Glory, its all about the glory. Yes, those are my hands on the pliers, and the glory goes to me.......What about those other hands in the picture? I said me, all me.

This is what is inside that towel.

This one is still a little young to get a band. Besides if you get close to a parent like this, they will go for the jugular.............or eyes depending on what kind of mood they are in.

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