Banding starts at 8 am and ends at 12 PM.
Visitors will see hummingbirds up-close as Master Bander, Mark Armstrong, demonstrates how hummingbirds are captured, weighted, measured and banded.
The feeders have a large cage that have doors so that when the hummer enters the door is closed. Then the trapper can put his hand in and gently catch the bird and place them in a soft bag.
Richard Secrist holds a bag with a hummer in it.
Next Mark will take the bird, check to see if there is already a band on the leg and if not he will then band the hummer.
The band is applied to the bird's "leg"(actually the tarsus) using specially made pliers. The fit is checked, then the bird's vial statistics are recorded:
species, age, sex, lengths of wing, tail and bill, plumage condition, molt ( loss and replacement of feathers) amount of fat and any other information that may be helpful in assessing the health of the bird.
You can see how small the band is in the image at left. Hummingbirds receive special bands made from sheets of soft aluminum alloy only about the thickness of an index card. The bander must cut out each band, trim it to size, smooth all the edges and corners and form it into a tiny ring. Great care is taken on making each band, since it must stay on the bird for life without causing injury or interfering with the bird's behavior.
If birds already have a band on the leg, they don't get another. The unique number that is on the band is recorded and all the measurements are taken.
Here you can see the tail being measured.
Once all the measurements are taken, it is time to release the hummer.
This is the opportunity for someone to have the hummer sit in their hand for a split second before it spreads its wings and off it goes in search of food!
Walk the Quarry area with Steve McGaffin who is the Assistant Curator of Education and the Citizen Science Coordinator for the Knoxville Zoo.
American Kestrel, our smallest falcon!
This is one of Ijams educational birds that was injured and could not be released back in the wild.
There will be lots of activity in the plaza as Stephen Lyn Bales will bring out either the Kestrel or the Red tailed Hawk to show.
The Kestrel is the most colorful of all raptors: the male's slate-blue head and wings contrasting with the rusty-red back and tail.
The Kestrel packs a predator's fierce intensity into its small body. Hunting for insects and small prey in open fields, perching on wires or poles to observe then hovering facing into the wind and then diving onto their prey.
Kestrels are declining in parts of their range. You can help by putting up nesting boxes.
To attract a breeding pair, the box should be put up in early February. 10 to 30 feet above the ground away from traffic and loud human activity. Attach a guard to keep predators from raiding eggs and young.
The Red-tailed hawk is widespread in our area, commonly seen perched on trees, poles or fence posts along the roadside or fields.
Most Red-tailed Hawks are rich brown above and pale below with a streaked belly. The tail is usually pale below and cinnamon-red above, though in young birds it's brown and banded.
You will learn a lot from Lyn and get up close and personal with these birds.
There will be lots of activities for all ages!
Lynne will speak about the need for wildlife rehabilitation and what it involves to both the public and the rehabber. How to know when help is needed and when to leave the wild one alone i.e., fledgling birds in spring and summer. How to contact a rehabilitator and how to volunteer. She will also be bringing some of her live wildlife ambassadors with her!
Lynne McCoy is a home-based independent wildlife rehabilitator and educator located in Jefferson County, TN. She has worked with birds, mammals and reptiles for 35 years. She has federal and state permits and is a member of the Tennessee Wildlife and Education Rehabilitation Association. She writes a newsletter, "It's a Wildlife" about her experiences and has a website: www.picturetrail.com/backwoodslynne with albums of her experiences. Lynne cares for 400-800 animals annually. She can be reached at Backwoodslynne@aol.com
Permitted, trained rehabilitators are a valuable link in the network of people and organizations helping wildlife. In addition to returning animals to the wild, they are cooperating to reduce negative human impact on wildlife and the environment. Come and learn how you can be prepared to help a bird or animal.