On Saturday morning at 7:00 am we participated in mist-netting songbirds at the Outdoor Discovery Center, sponsored by the Hope College Biology Department. Our goal was to take any birds that were caught in the net and collect data about them and tag them if they weren’t already tagged.
We looked for species, the age of the bird (1st year or older), male or female – if it was a female, whether or not she had a brood patch, evidence of molting, fat, and the wings were also checked for feather mites, head for lice and ticks in their ears (YES! they can get TICKS in their ears!!).
We caught 4 birds during the 3 hours we were there: 2 different robins, a House Wren and a Common Grackle. Each bird was gently removed from the mist net by Mr. Jamie from the ODC and carefully placed in a stocking for the walk back to the data gathering table. Nice comfy ride where it could still breathe. All but the Common Grackle were amazingly light! The tiniest bird we caught was a Wren… so SMALL!!!
It was a super cool experience, and as much as we love birds we know even more!