chick W1-10 was born at the end of May 2010. It stays close to
Mom and Dad in the first months of life. They teach and guard
their chick. The chick is flying at the end of August. It is
September 14 in this photo, and the chick is about 108 days old.
Mom #309 looks alert. What is coming?
costume-wearing biologists have come to capture the chick! They
want to put bands on its legs. The parents try to keep the kidnappers
away from their chick. They make a huge racket and try to attack.
Finally they make the rattling noise that means their chick has
rush to the capture location. Richard is restraining the chick
and Marianne is fending off the extremely upset parents. I
take over for Marianne so she can take the chick from Richard
and carry it to our banding area. Holding my puppet head up
as high as I can and stretching out my free arm, I try to look
as large as possible while staying between the adults and their
chick. Both adults have their wings out, waiting for a chance
to attack. Richard and Marianne then head out of the marsh
with the chick. I don't take my eyes off the angry, dangerous
and Marianne struggle to get a hood over the chick's eyes.
Then they remove their own hoods so they can see better as
they work. They examine the chick and take a blood sample.
Testing the blood tells if the chick is male or female.
we walk back to the small open marsh to release the chick back
with its parents. As I remove its hood to take a quick look
at its eyes, the chick says goodbye (and good riddance) with
one last jab at my arm. Ouch!
wasn't easy, but we did it! Wild chick W1-10 is banded. The
left leg carries a radio transmitter for tracking. The right
leg shows red/green/white, the
color code that identifies her for the rest of her life. Soon
the family will be ready to migrate. This chick will learn
the route from its parents. Their band's transmitters will
send radio signals as they travel south in fall and north in
spring. How will this chick change over the winter? Find out
on Journey North when the chick returns to Wisconsin next spring!