Under the expert guidance of Stephen Davies and James Russell, a number of us have been getting up really early to learn how to “band birds”. This involves catching the birds in mist nets and gently giving them a tiny metal bracelet around their leg. The bird is weighed, its wing measured and if possible, its age and gender are established. All those facts are recorded against the number on its leg band. Not only does this help to let us know how many different birds are around Matuku Link, it is also a great opportunity for budding bird banders to learn the craft – and possibly move from Level 1 (absolute beginner) to Level 3 (expert). It is actually the only way to learn, as there are no certified courses: it is learning by doing under supervision of an expert. Visitors who happen to see the process are always impressed – to see a wild native bird up close is an incredible experience, whatever the size of the bird!
We’re super lucky to have two of these experts close by, and for them to share their knowledge and experience with us, while adding yet another way to monitor our bird numbers.
Thank you James and Stephen!