11 May 2010
Several viewers have asked whether these are the same birds from last year. The answer: maybe. Last year, the male did not have an identification band on his leg, and the female was banded but biologists were unable to read her number. Fish and Game biologist Bruce Haak reports that both birds have bands this year but there is no guarantee that anyone will get close enough to make a positive ID. People also have asked about last year’s chicks. They were banded but no telemetry equipment was attached so it is impossible to say for sure where they went. There are volunteer reports that at least one of them stayed in the area through the winter. The band numbers would be recorded if the chicks were trapped or found dead. Those numbers go to a central registry for research purposes.
It would be great if the people who band birds of prey used an international standard – band the Left leg of Females and the Right leg of Males … usually they can tell by the size of the chicks at banding time which gender is which. Robin… who likes standardized procedures … (>: @