I was going to post this for Frank in the comments section (and I still might) in reply to Jack, but his message at the end of this is too important and I don't want it to get lost in the shuffle.
As for the guy named Jack who wrote in about our motives for banding, I AGREE WITH HIM. That's why I do this banding. To me ALL life is sacred whether it be a songbird, snake, vulture, hawk or human. We all need to live in peace on this planet. In fact the thesis for my banding permit is to develop a humane method of catching raptors. (Hopefully, someday we will be using good artificial lures to gather this much needed data.) To that end, I have had only two pigeons injured in the thirty-seven years that I have been doing this. And, not one raptor of the over 3,000 that I have caught so far has ever got as much as a bent feather out of the encounter. Hardly anyone who drives a car can say that they have hit or injured only two, birds, squirrels, frogs, etc. in thirty-seven years of driving. If you drive, you are a greater danger to wildlife than my banding activities.
As for the necessity of it, a wise person once said,
"Only if you love something, you will protect it . . .
You will love it, only if you know it . . .
You will know it, only if you are taught it . . .
You can only be taught it, by someone who loves it and wants to protect it!"
After I'm gone, if I am remembered for anything, I hope it will NOT be for, "what I knew," but rather, that, I shared what I knew.
I've always strived for the goal that when I die I wanted people to say, "Sharon was a good time." Frank has inspired me to a higher goal. Thank you, Frank.