September 14th – Late Adopters Will Continue to Muddle Through

A cutting edge inovation (borrowed) by Peter Thoem - ipegs.

First time visitor Matt Timpf was ecstatic that he had chosen his visit to coincide with the first major innovation in our banding “system” since its inception in the Fall of 1995. As most of you know, we keep track of the net that each bird is caught in. I have been promoting the simple “numbered grouping” method: one counts the number of bird bags from, say, net 2 and puts them on an arm; at the next net, one does the same, sliding the bags up next to the ones already there; and on and on around the circuit. One simply has to remember how many were caught at each net and then take them off in reverse. Simple. Evidently not for some people. (In fact, I wish I had ten bucks for every time someone has mentioned the difficulty to me. Oh quit your whinging and simply train your memory!) But Peter Thoem, whose memory seems to be fading with his advancing years, decided that he would put into place the “numbered wooden clothes peg” method that he saw in practice at Long Point.

Here’s Peter’s comments on the method (pictured above): “There are, in the fast moving world of technology, a cohort known as “Late Adopters”. These are those people for whom new ideas, new technologies and change represent a distressing challenge to their comfort zone leading to reluctance to-use and delay in trying out. The photo shows iPegs, an advance in bird-banding inventory control and data management.
As we have come to expect with “New Things”, there is no “Users’ Manual”, you just have to figure it out. But it’s pretty intuitive, Early Adopters will quickly embrace the change, Late Adopters will continue to muddle through.”

For those that aren’t that “intuitive”, it works like this: When you leave a net with a bagful of birds, you clip an appropriately numbered clothes peg (found clipped to the net guy lines) to the group of bag strings. When you get back to the lab, you look at the number on the peg, search until you find the corresponding hook, and then hang the bags on the correct hook. You then put the peg into the appropriate container….as yet to be determined….to be taken back for reuse. Simple…..if you need a cranial crutch…..

It was a beautiful morning, from the full moon illuminating the pathways early on, to the fluffy cumulus clouds in the late morning. And birds seemed to be getting under way again. Swallows, blackbirds and waxwings were seen in flocks. We also encountered 8 species of raptors: Turkey Vulture, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, and American Kestrel. The number banded, 31, was a big improvement on yesterday’s 9 and overall we encountered 52 species.

Banded 31:
2 Mourning Doves
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 House Wren
4 Gray-cheeked Thrushes
5 Swainson’s Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
1 Magnolia Warbler
4 Blackpoll Warblers
1 Chipping Sparrow
! Field Sparrow
1 House Finch
8 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 12:
1 Mouring Dove
2 Eastern Tufted Titmice
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Cardinal
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 52 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 27


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