Bird banding in Utah
Since 2014, I've been banding birds once per week in Red Butte Canyon, just above Salt Lake City.
Bird banding consists of erecting a series of mist nets - fine mesh material difficult for birds to see - and taking measurements of all birds that get caught. In addition to morphological and life-history information, every bird is fitted with a leg band stamped with a unique number. This allows us to determine if a bird has been caught before and in turn, we can assess how populations are changing in regard to size, bird health, age demographics, and more.
The Red Butte Canyon station is operated for 6 hours, several times per week, from April until October. The station has been in operation since 2012, and is quickly becoming one of the most comprehensive looks at passerine (songbird) trends in Utah. The Red Butte Canyon station has captured over 1,700 birds representing 73 different species. All the bird below were captured and banded at the Red Butte station.