Leaving in Three Days!

For the bird team to conduct the research properly and efficiently, we bring 18-20 poles and around 20 nets. Each net is attached to the poles the nets span a length of around 11 meters or 36 feet. The pole length is 2.43 meters or eight feet. The process for setting up the net takes two or three people; one person holds the net inside of a plastic bag, so that the net does not get human scent. This is so any birds flying through the area do not smell the nets and go around. Meanwhile another person is unraveling the net. This is a critical stage in the setup, if the net touches the ground; all of the debris has to be removed and is just time consuming. Once the net has been outstretched it is attached to the other pole via loops, the netting has to be taught so that birds do not get injured. There are four loops per each side of the net, three white and one black. The white loops have to go above the lock while the black loop goes below the lock. The locking mechanism is designed so that the pols won’t slide down once propped up; to collapse the poles, the lock has to be squeezed at the top of the pole. To extend the poles they have to be razed to the desired height or add another pole to the pre-existing pole. This is all to catch different types of flying birds i.e. low flying versus high flying birds. To actually catch the birds there has to be some excess netting at the bottom to create pocket for the birds to fall into. Once the poles and netting have been set up the Bird Team will use a small hammer to anchor the poles into place. The Bird Team expects to have technical difficulties, however have the means to fix and make most repairs to netting. To disassemble the net, the poles locks are compressed allowing the poles to be broken down. To put the nets away, each net must be spun to make them into more rope-like and manageable. To pack the net, hold onto the pole and grabbing an arms length of the net with the other, pull the net keeping it tight. It is important to not tangle the net during this process.

After the bird is caught, the Bird Team then takes them out of the net carefully, while making sure the bird remains calm. After the bird is taken out of the net, we carefully put them into bird bags. The bird bags are small and the bird will be able to breathe safely. The Bird Team then uses The Birds of Costa Rica: a Field Guide by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean field guide to help identify what kind of bird it is. From there, the Bird Team will mark where on the map the bird was found. This may help to identify any patterns that may occur.

Next, the Bird Team examines the bird. Weight, height, gender, and wingspan, are all taken note of. The weight is measured using scales. There are many different kinds of scales that can be used to do this. Wing chord is measured using calipers. Once the wing chord is measured, the age can then be determined. If the bird is a migratory bird, it gets banded. If the bird already has been banded, the Ornithologist’s attempt to recover data on that bird.

Materials

-10-20 net poles

-1 net per 2 poles

-Net bags

-Bird bags

The Birds of Costa Rica by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean and Training Manual for Field Biologist in Papua New Guinea by Andrew L. Mack and Debra D. Wright

– Records from previous year

– Scales

-Calipers

-Pen for markings

-Duct tape

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