Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 1, 2015 Ditto

Well today much like last week we caught 3 Northern Cardinals.  Unlike last week we did not manage to take even one photo.

The cardinals were all hatch-year birds; born this summer.  All of them were in the same net at the same time.  One appeared to be a bit older and it was actually one of the ones we banded last week. The other two were quite young.  They were molting body, tail, and wing feathers but not many yet. At one point Nancy Price was holding one in each hand - a hard thing to do and not get bitten.

Just to have a photo I am showing this Painted Bunting that returned to one of our banding locations. All of this season's adventures and more information on these birds are on the Page called Painted Buntings - Season 3.  (Look near the upper right)  Can you see the bands?  This one is dark blue over yellow on the right.

Painted Bunting
Photo by Vicki Rogerson

Next banding will be Tuesday, September 8.  Nets go up at 6:30 am.  Weather permitting.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

August 25, 2015 Red Letter (Bird?) Day

It really should have started with a parade and some fanfare but alas, it was actually 3 people with headlamps setting up nets.  Today was opening session for our fourth fall banding season.

We did not expect a lot today as migrants are just starting to move through in small numbers.  We did have a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher on the property today but the rest were typical residents.

The fun was the presence of young birds born this spring/summer.  We captured three Northern Cardinals today - an adult female and 2 young males.  All three had new feathers growing in.  Can you spot the feather still in sheath?

Northern Cardinal
Photo by Nancy LaFramboise

Northern Cardinal
Photo by Jane Wiewora

Northern Cardinal
Photo by Jane Wiewora

Next banding session:  Tuesday, September 1.  Nets go up around 6:30 am.  Remember this is weather dependent - rain cancels banding.

Friday, August 7, 2015

August 7, 2015 - Another Season Begins

And so it begins.  If all goes well we will be banding at Possum Long again starting on Tuesday, August 25.  If there is rain in the forecast the session may be cancelled.  We are hoping for a great fall migration.  I am currently at 99 species banded in my life and I am looking forward to that 100th species.  Do you want to guess??

Banding a Lazuli Bunting in 2010

Next session:  August 25 with nets going up at 6:30 am.

Friday, July 24, 2015

July 24, 2015 - Go see Painted Buntings - Season Two Page

Well it has been a while since there was something to post.  We just got word that one of our color-banded Painted Buntings was observed in Georgia.  I'm going to put the story and more photos on the Painted Buntings - Season Two page (look for Pages in the upper right of the blog front page and scroll to the end).  http://brdbander.blogspot.com/p/painted-buntings-season-two.html  The pages don't send out notifications so this post should if you have signed up.

We hope to start banding at Possum Long within the month.  Unless volunteers' schedules change we will be regularly banding on Tuesdays and will have "emergency" sessions when there are a lot of migrants (please).  I will post again when we set a date.  Hope to see you then.

Painted Bunting resighting, Skidaway Beach SP, GA
Photo by Debbie Carr-Taylor

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5, 2015

So comes the end of a wonderful spring run at Possum Long Banding Station.  But, it is just a break; we will be back in late summer in preparation for fall migration.

It is now breeding time and the birds of Possum Long are at it.  This time last year the Blue Jays were fledging and judging by the noises we heard today the young may be out of the nest really soon.  We have seen young Northern Cardinals in the area.  Our Osprey are about to fledge THREE young.  It is time to let them carry on bringing a new generation to the property.

It has been so fun to watch the Yellow-crowned Night-Herons.  We observed 3 nesting pair a block away over the last few weeks.  Our own bird has provided us with a lot of fun observations.  Is it lonely?  Just late to the game?  Is it trying to build a flimsy nest and maybe not doing so well?

Today we were up to 3 birds practically over our banding table.  Today's vocalizations and feather displays were amazing.  Will a nest happen here or are they on nests in the next block?

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Photo by Nancy Price

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
Photo by Nancy Price

We did not band any birds today.  There was very little migration action (none) and the rains threatened.  There's no joy in trying to dry nets.  So, we are done for now.  Join us again in the fall.  

There are so many folks to thank for a wonderful time.  Every volunteer brings special talents and joy.  It is a privilege to know and work with you all.  THANK YOU!  

Next banding session should start in mid-August.  I will post ahead of the start-up.  Subscribe and get an email whenever there's a new post!  

Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 30, 2015

Today was an impromptu session which ended up being the best ever.  We banded 28 birds (7 species) and many of those were still warblers.  We did band 3 Gray Catbirds and our first thrush of the season - a Veery.  It seemed so big after so many warblers.

Up to April 14, we had banded 22 birds on Possum Long.  Since then (the last 2 weeks) we banded 96 more!!  Migration is the most wonderful thing in so many ways.

Photo by Jane Wiewora

The warblers banded today were 6 Ovenbirds, 7 Black-throated Blue Warblers, 8 American Redstarts, 1 Magnolia Warbler, and 2 Common Yellowthroats.

The Ovenbirds kept coming (see last posts for photos) and so did the Black-throated Blue Warblers. These 2 species accounted for almost half of today's birds.  We are starting to catch more females and immature birds.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (female)
Photo by Jane Wiewora

Also present in high numbers were American Redstarts.  Most of them were males born before last summer (after-second-year).  One showed some really unique coloring with the tail looking much paler than the wing "starts" and the underwing.

American Redstart
Photo by Jane Wiewora

American Redstart
Photo by Pete Grannis

Finally we remembered to photograph the Common Yellowthroat!  We banded a male and a female today.

Common Yellowthroat (male)
Photo by Pete Grannis

The most exciting find today was a Magnolia Warbler.  Early on Pete Grannis found one in the canopy.  We were certainly shocked to have one in the nets (Thank you Nancy Price and Jane Wiewora for extending the trail net.)  This is only the second one banded at Possum Long.

Magnolia Warbler
Photo by Pete Grannis

Note the wide black undertail tip which is a great field mark when viewing from underneath.  

Magnolia Warbler
Photo by Pete Grannis

Next banding will be the last for this season.  May 5.  Nets go up at 6 am.  We will likely resume banding in mid to late August.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April 27 & 28, 2015 And The Warblers Keep Coming

West winds and some rain are the best for migratory birds setting down for feeding and rest.  So Monday had near perfect conditions for an unscheduled banding session.  Luckily the team was available for some extra banding time.

We caught a total of 25 birds:  9 Ovenbirds, 8 American Redstarts, 3 Black-throated Blue Warblers, 3 Common Yellowthroats, 1 Black-and-white Warbler, and 1 Gray Catbird.

Pete banding an American Redstart
Photo by Nancy LaFramboise

One of the Black-throated Blue Warblers had black markings on its back.  This is an indication that it belonged to a subspecies which breeds in the Appalachian Mountains.  The back of the more northern subspecies is entirely blue.  The large white wing patch and entirely black throat indicates this is an after-second-year bird (born prior to last summer).

Black-throated Blue Warbler
Photo by Jane Wiewora

This Black-and-white Warbler was born last summer.  Though the photo does not show the throat, it was not entirely black (still had some white mottling) and the wing showed some juvenal feathers (molt limit) just above my right thumb.

Black-and-white Warbler
Photo by Pete Grannis

In addition to the birds we banded we also saw a Black-throated Green Warbler yesterday and some Worm-eating Warblers today.

Tuesday's regularly scheduled session was cut short by threatening weather.  We banded 2 Ovenbirds, 1 Black-and-white Warbler, 1 Common Yellowthroat (SY), and 1 Gray Catbird.  We may try again tomorrow.  If we do we will add to this post so please check back.  (Wednesday we were rained out but will try again and make a new post!)

Next scheduled banding:  May 5.  Nets go up at 6 am.  NOTE:  THIS WILL BE THE LAST SESSION UNTIL FALL MIGRATION.  BANDING MAY RESUME SOMETIME IN AUGUST.  It is best to sign up for notifications.  I will post a week ahead of the new season!