Up Close and Personal with Birds!

The team caught over 100 birds, comprising 20 different species, with highlights including Superb Fairy-wrens, Red-capped Robins, Spotted Pardalotes, Peaceful Doves, a White-winged Chough and a Collared Sparrowhawk.

kids bird banding, mar 19, 2016 (2)
The next generation take part in banding birds at reconstructed woodlands near Monarto on Saturday with Bio·R volunteers, David and Fi Paton. Photographer: Matthew Wright-Simon.

Bird banding is a process where birds are caught in mist-nets so that an individually-identifiable band can be placed on their legs, some information, e.g., their weight and age, can be collected and recorded, and then the birds are released in the hope of recapturing them in the future. This enables research into the bird species’ biology, in terms of their movements, lifestyles and longevity, which in turn can help in their management and conservation.

Many of the birds caught on Saturday were already carrying bands placed on the birds several years earlier, indicating that these reconstructed woodlands near Monarto make good habitats for many woodland birds to reside in and so are important for countering their declines. Apart from adding to our understanding of bird species in the Mount Lofty Ranges, particularly some of the declining woodland bird species of this area, the day was also a great opportunity for the next generation of budding ornithologists and conservationists to see birds in the hand and to develop a greater interest and appreciation for them. While the kids loved checking the mist-nets and seeing the bright and striking colours of the Spotted Pardalote and Red-capped Robin, what the kids most enjoyed was holding the birds after they had been processed, before releasing them and watching them fly away.

kid with bird, mar 19, 2016
The kids really enjoyed holding the birds before releasing them and watching them fly away. Photographer: Matthew Wright-Simon.

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