Volunteers from Monarch Watch and Hawk Cliff Banders shared the ins and outs of tagging and banding with butterfly- and bird-watchers this past Sunday (Sept 23), the second of two September Hawk Cliff weekends.
Ann Vance talked about the life cycle of the Monarch and demonstrated the Monarch tagging process. Approximately 2,500 of the butterflies are tagged over the two-week period in September. Some watchers found Sunday a bit chilly and Ann pointed out that the cool weather isn’t favoured by butterflies either as they can’t fly when it’s less than 12 degrees.
Cyril Crocker, a member of the Hawk Cliff Banders association showed several live birds which had been captured for banding, prior to releasing them. The birds are caught in mist nets and transferred immediately to a can of an appropriate size to keep them immobilized and calm. Then they are weighed, banded and wing cord measurement taken. It is important to continue the banding on an on-going basis because it takes large amounts of data to know how the birds are doing over time.
Over the years the Hawk Cliff site has grown in popularity and today it is recognized as one of the prime fall migration hawk watching destinations in North America. See more photos from Hawk Cliff in the slide show below.
Visit http://www.ezlink.ca/~thebrowns/HawkCliff/ to find out more about Hawk Cliff.