Techniques for Handling, Marking, and Measuring Raptors: A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush!

2017 Conference of the Raptor Research Foundation, Salt Lake City, Utah / November 8, 2017



Program Flyer
I co-taught a workshop on raptor handling, marking and measuring techniques at the 51st annual conference of the Raptor Research Foundation (RRF). 2017 was the fourth year for me teaching the workshop at RRF conferences; the others were held in Duluth, Minnesota (2011), Corpus Christi, Texas (2014), and Sacramento, California (2015).
Kate Davis photo.


Man and woman standing by table
My teaching partner, John Smallwood, helping students.
Kate Davis photo.


Adults working on raptors in classroom
Kate Davis photo.


Adults gathered around man holding raptor
We had 15 students in the class, most from the U.S. but also from Mexico and Japan.
Dan Varland photo.


Man kneeling by blue tarp covered in raptor carcasses
We use raptor carcasses in the workshop to give the students hands-on experience. They’re next best to having live raptors on hand. This year the collection came from birds that died at the Salt Lake City airport, either because they were struck by aircraft or because they posed a threat to aircraft and were shot; the shooting is carried out by biologists with USDA Wildlife Services, a federal organization that addresses problem wildlife.
Kate Davis photo.


Men holding up raptor with wings spread
Students learned wing-tagging techniques in addition to banding and other types of marking.
Dan Varland photo.