This past month has been very exciting for me: I finally got to band my very first loggerhead shrike fledglings! As the new conservation breeding coordinator for the eastern loggerhead shrike recovery team, this was a moment I was looking forward to with great anticipation.
Though I’ve been lucky enough to band and process other birds before this position, I have not yet had the chance to band an endangered species as rare or unique as a loggerhead shrike.
The stainless steel band that is applied to a bird’s leg has a distinctive 9-digit number that identifies them in the field. This band- in addition to a unique combination of coloured leg bands- will allow researchers across North America track the individual’s movements across it’s range, which will help uncover the mysteries of where our birds go over the winter.
Almost all of the young at our captive breeding facilities are banded and ready to be transferred to one of two release sites in Ontario. Next week they’ll be moved to our field enclosures, where they will stay for about 10 days while they adjust to their surroundings and learn to catch live meals before they are released. Once the young are released, they will be monitored closely by our field staff to ensure they are getting the best possible head-start out in the wild.
To learn more about how you can help our loggerhead shrike recovery project, please visit www.wildlifepreservation.ca/donate
Conservation Breeding Coordinator – Eastern Loggerhead Shrike Program
Jane holds a Master’s degree in Animal Biosciences from the University of Guelph, where she studied building collision injuries in migratory songbird species. Jane worked as a rehabilitation supervisor, where she was responsible for the care, treatment, and reintroduction of injured and orphaned wildlife, including many species at risk.