Saturday, October 8, 2011

244: Birds and Bones


We had a full day today. Eight a.m. found us at Dutch Gap Conservation Area, where we joined a handful of other families to learn about bird banding. In the above photo, one of the bird-banders is showing us the tools of the trade. She holds a string of bands of various sizes between her hands.

After the birds are weighed and measured, they are fitted with a band around one leg. Another bird-bander demonstrates fitting the band on the bird. You can see the band between her thumb and first finger of her right hand. They assured us the bands are lightweight aluminum and don't affect the birds in any negative fashion.

No blue in this, just my favorite bird shot of the morning.

After the bird-banding demonstration, we made our way up to D. C. where we headed to the National Natural History Museum. My last visit to this museum was over 20 years ago, and I can't say that much has changed there in the intervening years. 

This movie playing on a globe was one of my son's favorite exhibits. The quiet, dark room provided welcome respite from the incredible crowds.

Another favorite-- a giant crystal ball! As you can see, this exhibit, adjacent to the Hope Diamond, was extremely crowded. We were anxious to be on our way after three hours exploring the museum, so we didn't spend much time exploring this fascinating room. 


  1. Totally envious of the bird-banding demo. :)

  2. I feel so grateful that a friend told us about this, as I don't think I would ever have come across it on my own. It was through Chesterfield County. If you click on Nature Programs at this link, it will take you to the brochure: Scroll down for the nature programs. They are doing a Winter Bird Count on Dec. 18!