Banding Day A Success

Tuesday was banding day in the peregrine nestbox and once again Peter Green of Providence Raptors was on hand with his camera, and an extra pair of hands. The four peregrines — one female, three male — appear to be healthy. That’s great news. Here is how the Audubon Society of Rhode Island (ASRI) described the procedure:

A board will be placed across the front of the nesting box to protect the falcons. Joe Zbyrowski, our bander, will remove the back opening of the box and remove the falcons. The bird’s sex will be determined based on the size of their legs and then two bands will be placed on one leg of each bird. The bird’s legs have stopped growing at this point so the bands will never constrict their legs. The bands will help scientists identify where the birds were hatched, the year, and if they are male or female. The birds will then be placed back in the box, the front board removed and the process will be over. It takes a little over an hour to band four birds.

The ASRI has been banding the peregrine falcons since their re-introduction in 2000. Since then 73 chicks have been banded. For 15 years, Green lived downtown where he could actually view the peregrines and other urban raptors from his window. He has since moved out of the city but would never miss a banding day.

It’s my favorite day of the year, amazing to be so close to the wild falcons. They are so fast it’s a real challenge as a photographer.

Needless to say, the parents do not sit idly by as humans start grabbing at their precious babies. Helmets are mandatory. But then everyone seems to calm down and forget all about it.

Check out Providence Raptors for Father’s Day gift ideas. He has T-shirts, prints, and his wonderful 2020 book, “Providence Raptors: Documenting the Lives of Urban Birds of Prey.”

This image is reprinted courtesy of photographer Peter Green. It was hard to pick one. Go here for Providence Raptors FB page with all his photographs of the day.


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