I recently spotted two bluebirds in a parking lot on the UC Davis campus – and one was banded! I was able to see its color band combo and find it in our records. She was banded as a nestling in June of 2018 in the Arboretum. I could only get a photo of the other bluebird, though, and it didn’t have bands.
Western bluebird in a tree on the UC Davis campus
It’s tricky to get useful (let alone high-quality) photos of songbirds. If a better, bulkier camera isn’t an option, a phone camera used with binoculars can work pretty well. There are also affordable telephoto phone lens attachments out there, which is what I’ve been trying out lately. I’m hoping it’ll be a more portable option for quick bird photos.