My latest assignment was to set duck traps on the Bland Wetlands. It was an amazing day! Not only were we able to work with other government agencies on this project we were also able to work with Lisa Rawinski, and both of our site supervisors- Jill Lucero and Sue Swift-Miller. I learned a lot that day and I loved working with our supervisors out in the field. It still amazes me how well Jill knows the wetlands. You can talk to her about any pond anywhere on Blanca Wetlands and she knows the exact one you are talking about. Sue is always great to be around. She is 100% a peoples person and she can always make you smile. Lisa is always so much fun to work with. She is always willing to answer all of my 100+ questions.
We set up five duck traps on five different ponds on Blanca Wetlands. The traps are made of wire and have to be assembled on sight. It looked extremely complicated at first, but we got the hang of it after helping with the first trap. Once the traps were set up we all picked up a corner of the trap and carried it into the pond. Once out as far as they wanted to go we sat the trap down in the mud. we then placed some floatation devices in the trap. When trapped the floatation devices are utilized by the ducks and ducklings to help keep them from drowning.
We are looking of teals specifically, but we are going to put bands on any duck that swims into our traps. For the first few days we will allow the ducks to swim in and out of the traps to eat. This coming week we will be closing the traps and actually trapping the ducks inside. Portland and I will then be able to help put ankle bands on the ducks. I cannot wait until I can blog about doing that! They told me that it may be a little yucky because the ducks tend to get different parasites on them around this time of year, so even though I may be a little grossed out I cannot wait to have some experience banding ducks.