Before I met Stan the bird man of California (my name for him) I had no idea that there were so many different breeds of raptors (birds of prey). Neither did I realize that there were dedicated individuals like Stan, who lives in Sonoma, CA, and whose spare time is consumed with these beautiful creatures that most of us just never notice or take time to discover.
So I had a lot to ask Stan about raptors and banding them and I had a lot to learn from him. Here is the AMOEBLOG interview -- followed by links if you want to learn more about raptors.
AMOEBLOG: What is your title and what specifically do you do?
STAN: I am a licensed raptor bander and I band birds of prey for research purposes, monitor banded raptors and their nests.
AMOEBLOG: How did raptors become your passion and have you always been interested in birds of prey or birds in general?
STAN: I think I can trace my fascination with raptors back to visits to the Texas Renaissance Faire as a teenager where I saw a falconry display where a falconer sent a trained hawk out over the audience and then called it back. I thought that seeing the bird land on the guy's glove was the coolest thing. Later I also became a falconer, but that is subsidiary to my research on wild birds of prey.
AMOEBLOG: How long does it take to capture a bird of prey? And what is the longest time you have spent in trying to do so?
STAN: If a bird of prey is motivated by hunger or some other motivation it can take just a few seconds or at most a few minutes to capture it. Usually if I do not capture an individual bird within ten or fifteen minutes, I move on and look for another. If a particular bird is a priority bird for some reason I may work all day to capture it, but that is rare. If a bird is not responsive pretty quickly, usually it is best to try to capture it at a different time.