Harry Day

Today’s the one year anniversary of Harry showing up. Since I never got around to writing up the banding process, I figured this would be a good time to do so.

The process began when Trevor Lloyd-Evans, banding director at Manomet, came by to drop off a couple traps. We set them out under the feeders (unarmed) and gave the birds a couple days to get used to them, hoping that the bird would hop in and then be easily captured. However, the birds didn’t like them and stayed away.

We removed the traps and headed off to Texas. On return, he was waiting, so we made some quick arrangements and Trevor came over the next day (with Marj to help document the process).

Trevor arrived and we began to set up a mist net. Fortunately, we had a fairly clear path and the ground wasn’t that frozen, so we had the net up pretty quickly. We then retreated to the house, expecting to be spending the morning plucking House Sparrows every few minutes.

Instead, we looked out and saw something in the net that had a reddish look: Harry. We rushed out and Trevor got him out and bagged him:


After stowing him away, we ran back out, plucked the couple White-throats out (no House Sparrows!) and then took the net down.


With that done, we began the banding process. We started by examining the feathers:


Note the damaged primaries.


We then took feather samples for isotope testing (belly here). Tests are still pending.


Tail clipping here.


See the contrast in the inner tail feathers, apparently a characteristic of the genus.


Next, we measured…


many different things.


And weighed him.

The band was then applied (for some reason I don’t have a photo).

And then we brought him outside for a couple more pictures.


And then he was handed to me to be let go (photo obviously by Marj).


The remaining equipment was taken down and we went inside for breakfast.

Trevor sent along his report a few days later, a very healthy bird (on the fat side actually).

For a few more photos, see Marj’s page.