Raptor Banding and Trapping Station
The Raptor Resource Project and Luther College have launched a trapping station project to collect data on birds of prey, provide field-based research opportunities, and deliver environmental education to youth. The project was funded via a Resource Enhancement and Protection/Conservation Education Program (REAP/CEP) through Iowa’s Department of Natural Resources. To learn more about REAP/CEP, including some of the really cool projects they have funded over the years, follow this link: http://www.iowadnr.gov/Conservation/REAP.
While we know a fair amount about cameras and computers, we really don’t know much about building trapping stations, especially stations designed to comfortably and safely accommodate several people at once. Fortunately, we had the help of Dave Noble, a falconer, engineer, and craftsman par excellence. Dave designed and built the blind with a little ‘hold this/get that/screw that in here’ help from David, John, and Amy. This video by Dave shows the station and explains some of its features: https://youtu.be/DJUah5Nbap8.
Thanks again to Dave Noble for his help, and the Iowa DNR’s REAP/CEP program for their support! In addition to everything else he does, Dave manufactures some very cool falconry bells. Check them out here: http://www.noblefalconry.com.
We also have a radar page to help track migration. It’s still in its ‘beta phase’, but you can check it out here: http://raptorresource.org/maps/UW_Composite_Radar/. Stop the maps via the controls on top and walk it through starting at about 7:15PM. See the way the maps ‘blows up’ with blue donuts starting in the east and moving west? Those are nocturnally migrating birds and non-migratory but nocturnal insects rising. It looks like we have some good days ahead of us!