Ballard WMA Wood Duck Banding

The rocket net fires over a group of wood ducks in western Kentucky. I set up a couple of cameras on remotes to see how it would work. I learned a lot about what not to do. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. Triggered remotely with Pocket Wizard Plus III.

 

When I trapped wood ducks with the Ballard WMA staff last summer, I noted that it would be an excellent spot to try to set up a remote camera.  A year later, I got the word from Robert Colvis, the biologist at Ballard, that the birds were ready.  I met Rob at 4:15am and off to the blind we went.  There are few things more spectacular than getting to watch the wood ducks prior to them coming to bait.  They arrive early and group up waiting to come in the bait.  This morning, there were more than 500 wood ducks that came in to the bait. Watching them is an amazing sight.  In the end, we captured and banded more than 200 wood ducks.  In all a great morning.

 

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources biologist Robert Colvis runs in to make sure birds don'r escape after capture. Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.4. Triggered remotely with Pocket Wizard Plus III.

 

Gerald Burnett works from behind the net to pull birds out of the net. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4.

 

A close up of the wing of an adult female wood duck. Adults females are really hard birds to catch for us in Kentucky making up well less than 10% of our total captures. Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.4

 

Another view of the rocket net in flight. Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G. Triggered remotely with Pocket Wizard Plus III.

 

Tim Stovall checks the band number before banding a couple ducks. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 G.

 

KDFWR private lands biologist Wes McFaddin puts a band on a juvenile male wood duck. It is amazing how you get beat up/cut up in a short period of time when banding. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 G

 

Another view of Rob running in. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII. Triggered remotely with Pocket Wizard Plus III.

 

 

Gerald Burnett and Glenn "Scooter" Bowman move birds out of the net. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 G.

 

Gerald digs a few birds out from the mass of birds under the net. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 G.

 

A lot of wood ducks in the net. Nikon D4 with AFS Nikkor 24mm f/1.4.

 

How can you not love this picture of Gerald "G-Man" Burnett. Nikon D800E with AFS Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 G.
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