Tuesday, August 26, 2014

August 26, 2014

Today was much more exciting than the last session.  We had a total of three captures and some great company.  We noted a Great Crested Flycatcher, a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and caught a glimpse of a small, brown bird in the undergrowth - Ovenbird?  Swainson's Warbler?  Worm-eating Warbler?  Any of these would be welcome.

Great Crested Flycatcher
Photo by Marta Isaacson

Early on we caught an American Redstart and just as we were processing it, the rain started.  Luckily it lasted all of a few minutes and it did not downpour.  I blame the rain for us forgetting to photograph our first bird of the fall.  

We had quite a break until the lawn care guy for a neighboring property started the mower.  LOUD!  It sent a Blue Jay into one of our nets.  The bird was born this last nesting season.  Its feathers were all new and were still growing in.  A visiting student got to see the whole banding process.

Blue Jay
Photo by Marta Isaacson

Not long after we caught an adult, female Northern Cardinal.  It was a great aging comparison, juvenile versus adult characteristics, as this bird was very worn.  She was molting body feathers but not flight feathers. It was clearly an adult who had had her feathers for a long time.  The fully orange beak also showed that it was an adult.   

We welcome Marta back after a long break.  She is traveling quite a distance to work with us.  We are hoping that we will see her when she can make the trip and that she will be able to assist on banding the Painted Buntings at locations to the south.  

Next banding session will be Tuesday, September 2.  Nets go up at 6:30 am.  It should keep improving each session as more birds migrate through or return for the winter.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

August 21. 2014

As with the beginning of any season we know that there might not be many captures.  That was certainly true today.  The good news is that there were birds around but we just did not catch any.

We did remove creatures from the nets - a dragonfly and two cicadas.

Photo by Crystal Conway

Photo by Crystal Conway

Birds noted were two Great Crested Flycatchers that were still on the property after breeding season or were just passing through on their way south.  We heard a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.  This could have been a nearby breeding bird.  We also saw two American Redstarts.  Both were yellow so they were females or young males.  They would definitely be new arrivals.

At least one of the Yellow-crowned Night-Heron adults is still on the property.  We also saw one of the Wild Turkeys.  Neighbors told us they had seen chicks.  Not sure we want a flock of these heading for the nets.

We are beginning to hear of returning Painted Buntings.  Watch for updates on the Color Banding Painted Buntings page.  Look in the upper right corner for the page listings.

Next session will be Tuesday, August 26 with nets going up at 6:30 am.  Please feel free to visit.  Make sure you check at the end of the property on Hibiscus as we frequently park there.

Monday, August 11, 2014

August 11, 2014 - It's fall !?!

Welcome back to the Possum Long Banding Blog.  It seems such a long time since the last post.

In the interim I visited a few places and attended banding at 2 locations in Washington state.  It was great to reconnect with my mentors and friends.  A shout out to Ed, Heidi, Chad and Rich.  Unfortunately no new species banded.

Yellow Warbler
Photo by Rich Barchet

Nancy Price was able to go to northern Florida to band with Erin from FWC.  FWC is studying our Painted Buntings on their breeding grounds.  It would be so terrific to someday catch one of those (banded with yellow/green split) or for them to catch one of ours.  (See page on Banding Painted Buntings - upper right).

Painted Bunting
Photo by Nancy Price

We will be starting fall banding soon.  By its very nature fall banding starts out very slow and is hampered by wet weather.  So, if you want to participate, be prepared for both.  We do not band in the rain.  We may start and have to close.  Hot weather will make for some short sessions at first.  That all said, it could be very exciting.  Early migrants include Swainson's and Hooded Warblers and Louisiana Waterthrushes.  Southern breeding warlbers like Prairie and Yellow-throated are possible.  Could we be so lucky? Last year we caught Brown Thrashers.  Things will pick up by early September.

We will typically band on Tuesdays but will also throw up nets if we sense a change in weather or bird action.  I will send emails but they may be as late as the morning we band.  To get on the e-mailing list make a comment here and include your email address.  Regular sessions are noted at the end of each post.  So, come to Possum Long anytime from daybreak (6:30 ish) and hope we are there.

Next session will be THURSDAY August 21.  Nets go up at 6:30.  Prolonged rain cancels session.