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  • Page 4 April 16, 2015 Thousand Oaks Acorn

    FOR THE BIRDS

    BUCKET LIST

    20

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    CHANGE OF MIND

    GIANT STEPS

    30

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    20 22 42 Opinion ............................................6 Sheriff ’s Blotter .............................19 Neighbors ......................................20 Business .........................................30 Family ............................................31 On The Town/Calendar .................36 Movie Listings ...............................38

    Sports ............................................42 Critter Corner ................................46 Health ............................................47 Real Estate .....................................48 Camps & Schools ...........................54 Faith ...............................................58 Classifi eds......................................59

    www.facebook.com/thousandoaksacorn | twitter: @theacornonline

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    Carissa Marsh

  • Page 20 April 16, 2015 Thousand Oaks Acorn

    Spreading her WINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGSWINGS

    Newbury Park teen gives up sleep to aid in study of local birds

    G E N T L E T O U C H — Newbury Park High School senior Joelle Saute blows gently on a Wilson’s warbler to expose the belly while recording data on the bird at the Zuma Canyon bird- banding station April 11.

    MULTISTEP PROCESS—Bird banding involves catching, studying and releasing small birds for the purpose of recording data that may hold clues about changes in the natural world. Above left, Joelle sets up a fi ne mist net used to catch her subjects near the Zuma Canyon bird-banding station in Malibu. Volunteers set up around 17 such nets each Saturday morning, when the birds are most active. Each one caught is recorded and a band is placed around its leg for tracking. Above, Joelle looks up information on a common yellowthroat. At left, Joelle’s father, Allen, joins in on the fun. Here the pair, on the way to check their nets, look up to try to identify a songbird. Said Joelle about her unusual early-morning pastime: “It’s kind of terrifying because they are so small and fragile, you don’t want to break it.”

    By Carissa Thilgen Special to the Acorn

    While many of her peers are fast asleep in their beds, Newbury Park teenager Joelle Saute has spent every other Saturday for

    the sun to conduct environmental research. The 17-year-old is a bird bander, and since 2010 she’s logged hundreds of volunteer hours at the Zuma Canyon bird- banding station in the Santa Monica Mountains, catching and tagging local birds and recording critical data that hold clues about changes in the natural world. “Being in high school , Saturday is supposed to be my day to sleep in,” the Newbury Park High School senior said. “But not with bird banding.” Clearly, Joelle doesn’t mind the predawn start time. She’s put in more than 650 hours on the research project operated by the National Park Service. There’s a reason she keeps rolling out of bed—and it’s not the free chips and doughnuts. “It’s so fantastic to be there at such an early hour in the morn- ing because it is so quiet . . . and you get to see the sunrise while you’re setting up the nets. It’s so magical,” she said. “You get to see things you don’t normally get to see during the day.” Things like wrentits, Audu-

    up close and personal. The daughter of two teachers, Joelle grew up loving to learn and explore the outdoors. Her mom, Judy, is an elemen- tary school teacher in West Hills, while her dad, Allen, teaches

    Sequoia Middle School. It was Joelle’s father who got her into bird banding when she was in seventh grade. Allen Saute, who’s been giv- ing lessons on birds since 1999, was at a workshop at the Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zool-

    heard of the bird-banding work going on in Zuma Canyon. “I’ve always been into sci- ence, so he asked me if I wanted to go (with him) and I said yes,” Joelle said. The two have been hooked ever since. Starting as novices, they learned the art of bird band- ing together. “I still remember that first time when Joelle saw a bird in the net up close. She was mes- merized. And the rest of the day

    she was like a sponge, learning as much as she could,” Saute said, adding that she picked up some of the procedures more quickly than he did. “She is now one of the top banders.”

    What is bird banding? Not to be confused with a birder, bird banders don’t just

    watch birds: They catch them— very carefully. “It’s kind of terrifying because they are so small and fragile, you don’t want to break it,” Joelle

    “But after a while you learn the standard amount of pressure

    you should be applying. It was a really cool feeling.” The project is overseen by master bander Walter Sakai, a Thousand Oaks resident and Santa Monica College biology professor who’s been banding birds for more than 20 years, at Zuma Canyon as well as other

    Southern California stations. Banders capture birds using a variety of techniques, Sakai said.

    mist nets. Every other Saturday, barring bad weather, a group of banders meets at dawn to set up the nets off trail in the dense chaparral.

    Photos by MICHAEL COONS/Acorn Newspapers

  • Thousand Oaks Acorn April 16, 2015 Page 21

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    Throughout the shift, which ends around noon, the banders make periodic runs to check the nets for birds. It’s when a bird flies into the net that the hard work—and Joelle’s favorite part—begins: extracting the creature. She likens

    “It’s very technical and it’s kind of a challenge for your brain. You have to look at the bird and see what parts are stuck,” she said. “You feel so accomplished when you get it out of the net.” Once the bird is untangled, the banders document the type of species captured, when and where it was found, its age and sex, and if it’s breeding or has any ticks. A numbered metal ring is then placed aro

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