|Dr. Mel Richardson w/NSWO|
Dr. Mel was my very first owl bander. Indeed Mel was there when I first learned to band in 1993. He forayed with me to remote sites in WA state to band owls. After moving to CA and before I had recruited banders at my newly established site at BCCER, Mel joined me one night despite being exhausted after traveling internationally. I picked him up at the airport and after we banded several owls, Mel climbed into the car and slept, but woke occasionally to check for my headlamp and watched as it "bobbed up and down the net lanes and back to the banding station, with more owls." We captured 14 owls that night, still our biggest night yet, and the number to beat.
It was during songbird banding operations that I nicknamed Mel "heater hands" because he would cup the cold hands of early morning banders to warm them before they handled birds. Always thinking of the birds comfort, Mel had a compassionate heart for my banders too. Thank you for your support and love of us, birds and all animals, Dr. Mel.