This traill’s flycatcher of undetermined gender weighs 16 grams, is 71 mm in length and was most likely hatched a couple of years ago. The fair colors of its plumage belie an avian normalcy — to the untrained eye, it looks like just another bird in the sky.
But this winged creature, which calls the Meadowlands home for at least part of the year, is different. On the right leg of this flycatcher, who is smaller than the palm of one’s hand, is a little silver-colored metal band displaying its new name: 2610-14799.
Looking like a person on probation sporting an ankle bracelet, this bird is part of a larger community of 8,000 friends who have been banded by the field specialists at the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission, the state agency that has zoning rights over the wetlands in the area.