Banding blues

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  • #5441
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    Does anyone else on the forum have their bluebirds banded? I would be so interested to know what you think about it and what your experiences have been pro or con. We have had this done for several years and I think there are good things about it.
    However, one box I am watching (not the one in our yard) has had a problem for two years in succession. Last year 3 of 6 banded nestlings died before fledging. I just cleaned out this box today and 2 of the five banded nestlings were dead. This is the same box where the Mama Blue disappeared.

    And since those nestlings were healthy when banded, it does make me wonder why they died.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5442
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Hi, Cari! I do not band my bluebirds, and I have no experience in wildlife tracking. What benefits do you ascribe to the practice of banding, and are you comfortable and confident that the banding is causing no harm? The mortality rates you quote, over the past two years, in that nest box (50% and 40%) are somewhat alarming. Obviously, it could be completely unrelated to the banding, but uncovering the actual causes of death in these instances would be important to know.

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #5450
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    In Oregon the Western Bluebird is on the “sensitive” list and Prescott Bluebird Recovery is attempting to help recover the Western Bluebird to our area. The following site explains why it is done: http://prescottbluebird.com/about-pbrp/

    They first banded ours in 2013, the second year we hosted bluebirds. They have come every year since and also have banded nestlings at our neighbors’ properties. All of these seem to have ended up with healthy nestlings. The box that has had a problem is located a couple miles from us at my daughter’s home.

    I am thinking perhaps she should quit allowing them to band at her place and see if the result is better. But it just is odd that if it is caused by banding that we have never had that problem with ours. There are so many things that could have happened. Banding or bad luck? I just don’t know.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by MaybelleMaybelle.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5455
    nhhawk6nhhawk6
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    Thanks, Cari! Good information. I especially love the educational aspect of the program! We certainly share the concerns of the PBRP, back here in the East, with our EABLs. Deforestation, competition from non-native species, and pesticides are our greatest threats, as well. IMO, recovery seems to come down to three things: suitable habitat, suitable habitat, and suitable habitat. :) My point being, while banding may provide interesting data (lifespan, range, etc.), the “actionable insight” still centers upon providing as much suitable habitat as we possibly can for our blues. A monitored nest box and the avoidance of pesticides within its territory, combat the three major risk factors, and band or no band, those are the corrective measures we must take. Just a thought. I congratulate you and your colleagues for the impact you are having on your western beauties!!

    Randy
    Bedford, New Hampshire

    #5459
    tamsea
    Moderator
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    I’ve never had experience at banding.

    Tammy

    #5482
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    I’ve been mulling over the possibilities and trying to apply a little logic. In view of the fact that the same banders have not had this problem with the other boxes I am watching, it seems somewhat doubtful that only this box would be harmed by banding, and not once, but twice.

    So now I am beginning to suspect a HOSP invasion. I was inclined to think a HOSP would kill all of them, but perhaps not. This morning I took note of the environment including a nearby horse barn. We moved the box to a location closer to one that had an undisturbed nest in the past. And I placed the trap near the previous location instead. We’ll see what happens. :TwoHosp:

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5490
    Whitney Gregge
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    I have been thinking about this for a while. What does it require to be able to band them? Do you need a permit? I’m studying wildlife biology and have learned about banding and will be practicing it this coming fall and I would love to try it out on my blues!

    #5492
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    I think your questions are answered here on my favorite bluebird website, Sialis: http://www.sialis.org/banding.htm

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5493
    MaybelleMaybelle
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    http://s1043.photobucket.com/user/Caro15lyn/media/IMG_8444%202_zpsgn83pz09.jpg.html?o=1

    Here’s a picture I took this summer showing one little nestling being banded.

    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by MaybelleMaybelle.
    • This reply was modified 4 years ago by MaybelleMaybelle.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5509
    Whitney Gregge
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    That’s why i asked how you can band them because it sounds very strict and hard to get a permit to do so. Doesn’t sound like anyone who doesn’t have a research project or educational program can get one.

    #5518
    MaybelleMaybelle
    Participant
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    I have no interest in learning to band. I’m happy to leave that with the trained volunteers with Prescott Bluebird Recovery.

    Cari
    Willamette Valley, Oregon

    #5520
    Whitney Gregge
    Participant
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    Ahh okay I thought you were saying you banded your blues.

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