It's almost time to release the chicks!!!
They flew away from home marsh, today. We weren't sure where they went, but thankfully they came back within an hour or two.
We're going to band them all on Tuesday. It's a big day for them. Once they have their new "jewelry," they'll be released within a week.
Bands are important to us because we can identify the birds from far away. We can easily see the bright colors of the bands through spotting scopes from 1/4 mile away (provided the birds aren't in tall grasses that hide their legs).
Right now we're trying to divvy up the birds into compatible groups. We want the birds to stay together after release so the groups have to get along amongst each other. We also want the chicks who are more curious to be released closer to 'home.' That way we can keep an eye on them more easily in case their curiosity gets them into trouble.
Both groups will be released on Necedah Wildlife Refuge. I've been led to believe the two groups will eventually reunite back at site 3 (familiar territory). I'm hoping they find each other sooner and they stick with their adults 11-02 and 30-08.
It's going to be a very busy and exciting week!