The Wrack

The Wrack is the Wells Reserve blog, our collective logbook on the web.

Posts tagged bird banding

  • Wing'd XXXVI: Bird Banding is Back

    | June 1, 2016

    Bird-banding session by Biodiversity Research Institute, May 31, 2016.

    Yesterday, the picnic table under the copper beech was covered with clipboards, bird books, and banding supplies for the first time since last summer. Around the table, a bird-banding team kept busy with catbirds, veeries, waxwings, and other species brought up from the nets. This long-term monitoring and research project has entered its 29th year (28th on the Laudholm campus) — but it's got a new look for 2016.

  • A Rare Bird

    | February 26, 2016

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 2/28/2016.

    Deer June

    “Today, I feel like a chimney swift, because I’m looking for a mate!”

    We had been asked, at the start of the meeting, to reveal the animal we most felt like. At 89 years old, June Ficker had the best answer. Of course it was a bird, because she was the Wells Reserve at Laudholm’s most committed and knowledgeable master bird bander. But the uproarious “looking for a mate” part was so June. She had that spark, that consistent ability to deny the age society said she should act.

  • Remembering June Ficker

    | February 11, 2016

    It was a blow, that message last Friday.

    • From: Paul Dest
    • To: All Staff
    • Sent: Fri 2/5/2016 11:05 AM

    We have lost a committed conservationist, a lover of birds and of all things wild, a master bird-bander and masterful birder, an excellent teacher and an enthusiastic life-long learner, and one the greatest friends one could ever have.

    June lived an extraordinary life — 91 years of active and engaged living. Her presence will continue to be felt here for years to come.

    Master bird bander June Ficker holds a northern waterthrush during a demonstration at the Wells Reserve at Laudholm.

  • Wing'd XXXI: She's Got Legs

    | May 6, 2015

    One April long ago, my ornithology instructor took our class to Bowerman Basin to view an annual sandpiper spectacle he helped discover and document. Dr. Herman delivered us to an enormous flock of shorebirds and, as science students "seeking patterns in nature," charged us with tallying them.

    Western Sandpipers and Dunlins in Oregon. Photo by David B. Ledig and in the public domain.

    "How do we count such a huge flock of birds?" we asked the sage.

    "Count the legs and divide by two," was his wisdom.*

    Ever since, I've strived to get good looks at bird legs whenever I've got binoculars in hand. No, I'm not counting them; I'm checking them for bands. Steve also taught us the value of studying birds as individuals and as populations — and how both approaches are aided by a scientist's ability to identify specific birds reliably. To do that requires marking them and legs are the go-to appendage.

  • Feathered Friending

    | May 31, 2014

    Barred Owl face

    The following was published in the Biddeford-Saco Journal Tribune Sunday edition, 6/1/2014.

    My son and I were simultaneously awakened at 4am this past Sunday by the call of the wild. At first we heard what sounded like a howl, but then as the fog of sleep cleared, the noise resolved into the distinct calls who-cooks-for-you, who-cooks-for-you-all.

  • 2013 Summer Bird Banding Report

    | October 28, 2013

    Official bird bands in June Ficker's gear boxMaster bird bander June Ficker and her crew wrapped up the summer season at the end of August. June recently shared her summer wrap-up and we're happy to pass along these facts and highlights for 2013…

  • Two Decades of Saw-whet Owl Banding

    | October 1, 2013

    Bird bander June Ficker recalls how she got started netting saw-whet owls, shares some details about the birds she has banded, and explains a few precautions taken during the autumn saw-whet season…

    Northern Saw-whet Owl in the hand with wing spread

  • Winged Wednesday XVII: Twenty Years of Bird Banding

    | August 13, 2008
    It's the 20th anniversary of bird banding at the Wells Reserve this year. The master bander who has been at the heart of the program all this time, June Ficker, recently looked back at her 1988 records and provided this summary: Operated 6 12-meter mist nets from May 27 to August 31 for a total of 14 Wednesdays from 6 to 10:30 am. Species banded: 19Birds banded: 69Gray Ca…