Birds in the hand
This chapter considers all aspects of the trapping, handling, and examination of wild birds for study purposes. It considers welfare, ethical, and legislative issues, and different methods of catching birds, from cage traps and spring traps to mist nets and canon nets, and the individual marking of birds by ringing or other means. It explains how to hold birds; age and sex them; record the state of moult and particular plumage features; and how to take weights and various measurements, such as tarsus, bill, and wing length. It also describes various ways of assessing body condition, including fat levels and muscle protein, and of recording and collecting ecto-parasites. The methods of biopsy are also discussed, particularly the taking of blood and feather samples for various purposes.
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