Hands-on Training at the Crack of Dawn

Hands-on Training at the Crack of Dawn

Students volunteer for waterfowl banding efforts

| By: Daley-Hinkens, Carmelyn M

When an opportunity for hands-on training presents itself, the time on the clock can’t matter. You go when opportunity knocks. Or, in this case, when opportunity flies in.

Twelve FVTC students in a Wildlife Management class recently embraced an early morning start time for the chance to help the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) complete waterfowl banding. The lesson took them to the Collins Marsh Wildlife Area, located about 10 miles southeast of Brillion.

“Meeting in the FVTC parking lot at 3:30 a.m. was a little challenging,” says Paul Groell, department chair of Natural Resources. “But the students were able to see the banding process from the beginning. They were able to sit in the blind at dawn and get a front row seat to see the ducks coming in.”

The ducks were lured to the capture site and rounded up by a remote-triggered net. The students and other volunteers then took great care to remove the ducks and hand them off to the DNR wildlife staff. Once the sex, age and species of the bird were documented, a small metal band was put on the duck's leg and the waterfowl was sent on its way.

The students are all in their third or fourth semester in the Natural Resources Technician associate degree program.

“This was a volunteer activity,” Paul explains. “Not all students could make it, but those who did were excited to get this field work opportunity, especially when the pandemic forced us to cancel a lot of field work last year. It’s great to have the students in the field again.”

In the News:

Spectrum: Waterfowl banding at the Collins Marsh Wildlife Area >>