Leg Band Identification Error

Hercules' LegbandsWell, it sucks when you make a mistake. But, when you make a mistake and keep making it? Right now, I feel brain damaged.

I’ve continued to take pictures of the MCC female, even though I’ve seen her leg band time and again. I need a good, clear picture of her leg bands so that I have photographic proof of my identification.

This morning, I worked diligently to photoshop today’s pictures of Hercules standing on the nest ledge. I hoped to get a good leg band picture and, happily, I did. Grainy as it was, I could read it. I blinked. And I blinked. I flipped the pages of my “Write-in-Rain” field journal, noting weeks and weeks of, “Confirmed yet again. Female = r/b, W/*D,” in entry after entry.

I looked back at the photo which quite clearly showed a black band over a red band with a tipped over D (*D) on the top black band and a W on the bottom red band. In fact, if you, yourself, click on the above picture, you will see the same thing.

After inverting it the first time, I guess my brain just decided to keep on doing so. I assume just to Keep Life Simple. I think my brain goes rogue from time to time.

According to the database, b/r, *D/W (geez, I /still/ have trouble typing that) is the leg band of a bird named Hercules.

I’ve gone back and edited out the many AKAs of Hercules, just so readers won’t become confused. I’d started calling her Madeline early on, after the little girl of the Madeline books. I got her leg band information days after I started watching, inverted that information and started referring to her by her “real” name, Bern. But, her real, real name is Hercules.

Personally, Hercules isn’t my favorite, but I bet there is some sort of funny anecdote to go with why she was given that name.

So, this stands as a nice example of why one records the same stuff over and over again while watching an animal in the field. Also, one should try to record that information in a number of different ways, even if it seems tedious. Mistakes happen and you just hope you have enough checks and balances in place that you’ll catch it. Eventually.

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~ by Steph on May 25, 2006.