I suppose I should be happy that in all my years of running a banding station (in three different states) I’ve never had anyone tamper with nets or cause any sort of intentional damage. Unfortunately, that run of good fortune ended recently as someone apparently thought nothing of removing some of the nets from their poles and hanging them in the trees, and then running a tractor or 4-wheeler or some sort of similar vehicle through the banding lanes, destroying some of the autumn olive bushes.
Cailin reports that many of the bushes in our study area have been seriously damaged or destroyed. Several of the nets are torn from being tangled in the trees (thankfully, they were still properly furled and did not catch any birds) and will need to be replaced – to the tune of about $100 per net.
Apparently, the person or persons who tampered with the nets was unaware (or possibly didn’t care) that it is a federal offense to do so. We’ll be posting warning signs and hope this was just an isolated incident.
The real kicker is that we have an idea who was responsible for this, and that it is likely to continue in the future. We’ll see…
In the meantime, I’m looking forward to returning to RRBO at the end of September for some fall banding.