Playin’ in the Band
After three days of applying the registration band onto the baby Linnie, it is finally settled! This is such a crazy process! There is such a narrow window of time during the growth of the chick to add the wee bracelet and the bracelet not slipping off the leg of the chick. The ankle area is incredibly short. The toes are incredibly miniscule. The elbow is prominent. So the band has to go past the spiderweb of toes, onto the ankle, but not over the elbow onto the thigh. The chick has to grow into the band overnight, without it slipping off the bird and without the band creeping past the elbow and getting up onto the thigh.
Applying the band at nighttime allows the chick to continue to grow overnight, hopefully keeping the band on. I checked each morning to find the band off the bird, somewhere in the nestbox. If the band is applied too late in development, it won’t go past the junction of the foot where the toes begin.
When I used to breed canaries, it was easier to apply the bands… canaries have skinnier legs than the parrots. The chicks, however, being so tiny and lightweight, ran the risk of being tossed out of the nest. The momma bird’s job is to remove foreign matter from the nest… including bands. If the chick wasn’t heavy enough, momma tossed the baby out with the bathwater!