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  June 2000 Nest Visits

June 26, 2000 -
We put on more leg bands

We banded 9 more nestlings this week for a total of 26.  The chicks in Nest 3 are doing fine.  All the chicks we banded last week have fledged and left the nest.  Wild babies grow up quick!

Nest 3, June 26
Nest 3 - June 26, 2000      Photo by Jim Mason

Banding Suzanne Fellows and Steve Sorensen prepare to put on a leg band.
The band goes on the left leg just above the foot. Crimping the leg band

Aw, gee, do I have to?
Ready to be fitted!
All photos by Jim Mason

June 19, 2000 -
We put leg bands on some of our birds

Metal leg bands have been used by ornithologists for centuries to mark individual birds.  On the tag is a code that will allow the bird to be identified if it is ever recaptured in the future.  We want to know what happens to the birds hatched here and the leg bands will help make that possible.

To learn more about bird banding and what you should do if you ever find a banded bird, click here.

June 12, 2000 -
Nest 4-"We've got feathers!"

The chicks in Nest 4 are the oldest.  Their bodies are mostly covered with feathers now and their tail and wing feathers are half grown.  As in all birds, these feathers are protected by a special sheath when they first sprout.  The sheath flakes away as the feathers develop.  Perfect flight feathers are essential for master aerialists like Purple Martins!

nest 4 June 12
Tail feather close-up     Photo by Jim Mason

All four eggs have hatched in Nest 3 and the chicks look fine.   Nest 8 still hasn't hatched her eggs yet. 
Nest 3 with first baby
Nest 3 - June 5, 2000    Photo by Charles Cope
June 5, 2000 -
Nest 3 has a new baby!

The female who lost her mate a week ago has hatched her first chick.  It is one day old in this photo.
Nest 2 - June 5
Nest 2 - June 5, 2000    Photo by Charles Cope
Meanwhile, the other nests are very busy places.  Some of the chicks' eyes are opening and feathers are beginning to sprout in the wings and shoulders.   The feather tracts give a grey cast to the skin as they begin growing.   Growing babies need lots of food!  The parents are very busy foraging for insects.


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