Days-old chicks were carefully captured and banded Sunday as part of an ongoing study on mountain bluebirds.
This season is the second that Jackson Hole Wildlife Foundation staff have banded the birds in hopes of gathering more data on the species and its migratory patterns. One bird that was banded last year, an adult female, has already been spotted nesting in the area again.
The nestlings, just 13 days old at the banding, received four pieces of jewelry during the banding — a silver United States Geological Survey tag and three colored beads. The colors identify the bird as well as identify the year in which they babies hatched.
Aren't they cute? Don't they look like tiny, upset old men?
Assistant bird bander Max Frankenberry thinks so.
"They don't look scared," Frankenberry said as he delicately handled a baby chick. "They just look angry."
Look for a full story on the project in coming weeks. Until then, you can get the basics on the project here. (Obvious warning, but one to note: Please don't disturb the nesting boxes.)