If there’s a single most important part of processing the bird, it’s making sure to get it banded. This red-headed woodpecker is rocking his size 2 USGS federal band as well as three color bands so I can identify and study him from a distance without capturing him again.
It’s important to collect all of your data swiftly, grab photo documentation, and get the bird back to the wild, but what if the animal is stressed and there isn’t time? Just band it. Adding a unique marker means you can get all the data you need later, when the bird is feeling better.
One of the most important parts of being a good field biologist is respecting and closely monitoring the wellbeing of your animals! I only pause for photos and video on healthy birds, and make sure to constantly check for signs of stress (puffing, eye closing, reduced activity).