Whirl and Mary invited me to come along with them yesterday to my first chick banding at the South Wacker site in the Chicago Loop. I took an extended lunch break on a quiet Friday before a three-day holiday weekend to meet them and make a few photographs to record the process.
What struck me most about the whole thing was the dramatic shift in atmosphere once we got into the mechanical room accessing the nest ledge. In the lobby of the building and on the way up it was friendly, fun and conversational. When we stepped into room everything went quiet, serious. Everyone involved knew their roles and they got to it. Matt geared up with the harness, helmet and safety line to go out and fetch the chicks 40 stories above street. Mary, Stephanie and Gracen set about getting the banding gear, blood vials and specimen containers set up.
I don’t often get an opportunity to observe my child bride working with her team of fellow scientists. Today I did. It was really cool. Read her more complete report in her field journal.