Thursday, December 17, 2009

Yet another banding project

Here is a brief blurb on a project I've been working on for the last couple of years.

Well known Australian ornithologist, Stephen Marchant, conducted a study on a block of forest near Moruya in NSW. Stephen examined nesting of all species on his property called Ballara between 1975 and 1984 inclusive. He published many papers and notes on his work, including a substantial volume summarising the work which was published by the Eurobodalla Natural History Society.

Stephen's daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Michael Guppy, are now repeating the study on the block. They have been finding and monitoring nests for the last three breeding seasons. I have been managing the banding aspect of the project, and training Michael as a bander. We have authority to colour band 19 species. Through the effort of the banding team, we have just about every bird colour banded!

Colour banding allows observers to identify individual birds in the field without the need to recapture the birds. You may have seen some pics in my previous post about colour banding Olive Whistlers at Monga NP. Here, Michael opens a split ring colour band using a small aluminium "spoon", so that the band can be placed on the fairy-wren's leg.

Our collection of colour bands of various sizes.

Below are a few of the birds that we banded on a recent trip.

Adult male Superb Fairy-wren.

Adult male Variegated Fairy-wren.

Bit more detail on the Variegated Fairy-wren.

Adult Eastern Yellow Robin.

Juvenile Eastern Yellow Robin. This bird had probably been out of the nest about two weeks. A couple of yellow feathers already poking through the speckled plumage.

Adult male Rufous Whistler.

Adult Black-faced Monarch.

Adult male Leaden Flycatcher.

Immature Olive-backed Oriole.

Immature Olive-backed Oriole. Not much olive on the back yet!

Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike.

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