Mist netting is not only extremely important when trying to monitor avian wildlife population, but it is also a lot of fun! I was able to join Dr. Armstrong on a mist netting mini-training. According to an article I found online “Mist nets and mark/capture are absolutely necessary for the scientific study of bird populations, and also for the creation of essential guides for birders” (Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2011-07-mist-nets-bird-capture-safe.html#jCp).I learned that mist netting can only be done by those who have permits to do so therefore, in order to buy one you need a permit number. There are various types of mist nets on the market. When ordering mist nets you want to make sure they are the correct size and material for the types of birds/bats you are monitoring or it can result in unnecessary injuries to the birds or even fatalities.
We performed our mini-training on the Monte Vista Refuge. We practiced setting up/ collapsing the nets and untangling the birds we managed to capture. We quickly learned that red-winged black birds are very feisty and have no problem pecking your hands as hard as they possibly can.
We captured red-winged black birds and white crowned sparrows in the two nets we had set up. Dr. Armstrong then went over how we would go about taking measurements of the birds. To say the least, mist netting was an awesome experience!