This September at the Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) - Lucky Peak Field Station in Boise Idaho, the North American Banding Council (NABC) conducted a 3 day training course to certify IBO staff and local affiliates in proper raptor banding techniques. With instruction by BRI's Peter Bloom and raptor banding trainer Greg Kaltenecker (IBO), students completed a written test, studied museum specimens and live captive raptors and worked in the field for 2-3 days with IBO's autumn raptor migration program. The course was observed by Anthony Hill (NABC). The main categories covered by the program were....
- Background materials and ethics
- raptor identification, ageing and sexing
- traps and capture techniques
- humane care and use of lure animals
- site set up and take down
- extrication of raptors from traps
- raptor handling
- raptor banding
- banding of nestling raptors
- raptor measurements
- ability to teach and train key concepts
- communication and public relations
- data collection and management
Banding raptors is an important tool in studying their migrations, natal dispersal, survivorship, breeding, and winter distribution. Studying these patterns long term can teach us about how climate change and other factors may affect the species. The training that took place this September will allow the IBO and the NABC to be a premier expert and training facility for banding raptors. This type of certification process teaches responsible banding practices to keep the species healthy while collecting the necessary data for conservation purposes.
On a related note, this last August IBO employees recaptured one of BRI's young Red-tailed Hawks banded as a nestling in May in Southern California.
Below are photos from the 3 day event that include the trapping station and banding of Sharp-shinned Hawks, Cooper’s Hawks and Northern Harriers..