A friend told me about bird banding being conducted by the Biodiversity Research Institute (BRI) here in Portland, so I stopped by to have a look. The feature attraction was a Northern Saw-whet Owl resting in a tree just above the entry path to the preserve. These birds are just passing through, on their way to Canada. They seem to be pretty comfortable around people.
The staff from the BRI were there to capture song birds so they could record their vital signs along with any prior banding information. Birds without bands were then banded. Aside from showing the birds to us lay folks, the birds were quickly released to minimize stress. Bird banders have to have a federal and state license to capture and handle birds. Here’s a rare Warbler that they were excited to find:
You can see more of these captures at my on-line gallery