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Photo: Bryan Stokes

Banding Saltmarsh Sparrows (SALS) at Jacob's Point Salt Marsh

To learn the most about Saltmarsh Sparrows, we capture them humanely, apply leg bands, take measurements and then release them back on the marsh- all within a few minutes.

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The process begins with hauling mist nets into locations in the marsh where the birds have been sighted.  It takes a skilled team to navigate the uneven terrain and avoid walking on any nests. 

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The nets are closely monitored, enabling  the sparrows to be quickly and safely removed from the net.

The birds are carefully placed into a cotton bag and taken to the banding station to be measured and color-banded by Master Bander Steve Reinert.

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Multiple measurements are taken, bands applied, and photos shot to document the unique USGS band number and color band combination.  

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The favorite step in the banding process is releasing the newly-banded bird safely back into the marsh.

photos: Bryan Stokes