Then on Thursday when I received the banding invitation and reminder from CT DEEP/Division of Wildlife, I cringed. It was, once again, taking place on a Friday and it coincidentally fell on yet another early dismissal day.
Wondering if I COULD make it, I immediately pulled up the location on Google Maps, and began calculating distance and time. "I COULD and I WOULD", I thought so I responded "Count me in...see you there." This year my gut told me not to miss it.
Last Friday was an incredible day. I would be meeting my 'Eagle Guru" for the first time face to face after communicating with him for nearly six years via email. He often said he hoped to someday meet me in the field and Friday was the day. He's been doing volunteer work and involved with Bald Eagles since the 80's and is a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Eagles and a few other species in the world of ornithology.
I am still on "cloud nine" because being allowed to be part of, witness and observe the actual banding process. It was beyond amazing. Hopefully, you'll get the jist from the pix.
Located in a Tulip Tree about 100' away from their home, after meeting me the property owners extended an "open invitation" to come and observe the nesting pair whenever I wanted to.
|Brian climbs to nest.|
After reaching in over the rim of the nest, Brian gently placed the chick in the leather bag and lowered it to the ground where Jenny and Larry (CT DEEP/Div of Wildlife) then weighed the bird.
Now, Mike holds the chick while Jenny places a Federal band on the right leg and the state band on the left. Additional measurements are taken to determine the sex and age of the bird.
The entire process of measuring, weighing and banding took 10 minutes. Meanwhile the adult circling overhead continued to send the stress alert.
As you can see, it was fitted with a CT band, which is black in color and labelled K7.
It was reported to Mike that the chick banded last year from this nest had flown into electrical wires in NH. It was sent for medical attention, rehab and released.
Before placing the chick back in the bag for it's trip back up to the nest, Jenny spritzed it with water.
(Don't you think it's fuzzy white feathers resemble a bandanna?)
Brian did find an unhatched egg in the nest which will be analyzed. Based on all measurements taken , it was determined that the chick is a male and approximately 45 days old.
Speaking to Mike afterwards, I told him that I thought the bird was small for it's age as it only weighed 6.25 lbs. Then using a formula he devised, I calculated the egg lay, egg hatch, and fledge dates. Before I left, he said, "You're good." And that, my friends, is why I'm still on "cloud nine."
The morning flew by and before I knew it, I was heading to my granddaughter's hoping to make it to school on time, 1 1/2 hrs away. I did. Now I would get to spend time with her and Harley, their 5 month old puppy and remain on "cloud nine.".
just seeing, saying and sharing...
with you and those at