Ranger Kathryn's Arches

July 23, 2009

A-birding I have gone

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:08 pm

Three birds.  That’s all we caught in our nets in the first three hours.  Kind of like fishing… good days and bad days.  VERY educational, however, as I watched them untangle a Spotted Towhee, a Blue Grosbeak, and a female warbler we could not identify to save our lives, even with the finest bird books and birders all around.  I watched just long enough to know that I would not have the patience to untangle the nets, nor the birds from the nets.  Christmas tree lights tangle easily for me and that drives me bonkers.

One bird, the female Blue Grosbeak, came to us with a broken leg.  Somehow she survived that, but in the process of struggling in or detangling her from the mist net, her left wing seems to have been broken.  We gave her droppers full of water when we realized that she could not fly upon release, and the birders talked of taking her to a bird rehab place — 116 miles away — because she could not survive in the wild.

I am off to dog sit now.  It has been a while since I walked a dog!

A-birding I will go

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 6:32 am

It’s 5 a.m. and I am sitting in my car in the parking lot of the Wicked Brew, using their Wi-Fi.  I am to meet some birders at 0545 at The Wetlands for a new experience:  mist nets and bird-banding.  I’ll take my chances with lots of DEET in exchange for protection from the West-Nile-bearing mosquitoes, and I hope to get my hands on a chickadee or gnatcatcher.

I am still basking in the perfection of yesterday, and the deep satisfaction found in interpreting my park for our visitors.  The worst day I’ve had as a park ranger is still better than most days I’ve had as a teacher.  Seriously, shouldn’t that tell me something??  Truth rarely resounds that clearly.

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