June 23, 2008

No birds were harmed for this art.

I love it when I see any piece of art that makes me look twice, makes me assume something terrible, then teaches me something really lovely.

Ornithologists now use mist nets instead of shotguns for data that cannot be obtained with the help of binoculars, microphones, or telephoto lenses. These nearly invisible nets are set up like fences and function as huge spider webs, catching unsuspecting birds. The researcher carefully extracts the bird from the net. Each bird is measured, aged, sexed, and banded with an individually numbered anklet (Audubon’s philopatry experiments with Eastern Phoebes was likely the first bird banding done in the United States). Then the bird is released, unharmed.

Todd Forsgren - Bird Banding Project

1 comment:

Gerry Gomez Pearlberg said...

"Unharmed" is a relative term that appears to discount the considerable fear these creatures must surely feel when caught and manhandled. The cause is a good one to be sure, but the trapped and frightened bird has no way of knowing that.