Hawk banding season - my most favorite thing in the world besides my Steelers - got underway this weekend. We had 22 birds total - 2 Merlins, 1 American Kestrel, 1 Red-tail and the rest were Sharp-shinned Hawks. Got some great looks at Harriers, other Merlins and Shins, too, that came over the blind, but turned their beaks up at us. One Merlin even took a bird out of the air right in front of our camp! Got to spend a few days with some of my favorite people, too - friends and fellow banders Frank, Chuck and Rick.
I admit these next few posts are going to be a bit out of order. I resized some release shots, so am going to post these before I can go through the others and show you what we banded and saw at the blind. All of these birds are being released after being banded and the pertinent information taken. Thought you'd enjoy the arty shots I tried to take as the birds were being let go. The first three shots of are Rick releasing Shins. The last three are of Chuck releasing a Merlin, a Red-tail (who is obviously not looking in front of him!), and Kestrel.