Every year, I try to make sure I go to the banding at south Wacker. The very first banding I ever attended was Wacker, so the site has a special place in my heart. This year, it rose a bit further in the sentimental ranks due to four special guests – husband Sean, boss Margaret, co-worker Gracen and David from exhibits (who has made a number of our peregrine shelters on his off time).
Margaret and Al, curators in the Insect Division at the Field and my bosses, have been very kind to let me continue my work with Mary, Matt and the peregrines. They’ve consistently allowed me to pick up and leave for hours in the middle of a work day in order to make site visits, go to bandings, track adults, and on and on. You may recall, my previous boss, Carl, was equally accommodating. In fact, now that I’m typing this, I realize I’ve been incredibly lucky to work for the curator’s I’ve worked for at the Field. I have not had even one bad experience. It’s just a great group of people, one and all.
ANYWAY, back to the point. Because this season has been a bit busier than usual, thus asking more than the usual leeway from Margaret and Al, Mary thought it would be nice to have one or both come along to a banding. And, since both of Gracen’s sites, through no fault of her own, failed this year, Mary also thought Gracen should come. And Sean. Well, since Sean has lugged gear, sat for hours watching birds on his weekends, helped capture wayward fledglings, shared his loft over night with a somewhat odoriferous and temperamental juvenile (a peregrine, not me) – I could go on and on here. Let’s just say that since Sean has been an adjunct member of our little team for years, Mary thought he should attend his first banding too.
Everything went very well. Matt crawled the ledge to get the chicks and also managed to catch Rahn so that we could give her a quick look over. She looked absolutely great, by the way, healthy and hearty as ever. The chicks were all feisty and healthy too – 2 males and 1 female this year for Wacker. I’ll post the names as soon as the building makes their final decisions.
I gave Sean the camera, since he is SO much better at taking pictures of people than I am. Although the room we band in is lit, it isn’t particularly well-lit and constant flashes from a camera could startle banders and terrify birds, Sean took all of the pictures without a flash using our little nifty-50mm prime lens. I think you’ll all agree, he took some spectacular photos, especially given the circumstances.