We welcomed visitors and new volunteers today. Photographer Paul York took some great photos: https://plus.google.com/photos/+PaulYorke/albums/6075387246981075377?banner=pwa
Birds put on quite the show for us. One of the first bird interactions was an adult Bald Eagle flying overhead with 2 Osprey defending their territory.
Later in the day we observed a small flycatcher that was often buzzed by a Ruby-throated Hummingbird. We determined that the flycatcher was an Eastern Wood-Pewee. We narrowed it down to pewee fairly fast (photos not high quality but helped with ID). The long wing (primary projection) seen in the photo helped there as did the lack of eyering, etc. We were bothered by the lack of light coloring on the underside of the bill. We studied photos and finally ruled out Western (yes, we knew that was only a remote possibility but it pays to check) by the undertail coverts. Jane found data in the banding guide that young Eastern Wood-Pewees can have dark bills. A great lesson in narrowing down possibilities to an ID. It would have been much easier if it had decided to vocalize.
Later in the day we observed a Cooper's Hawk. This bird was chased by an American Kestrel. It is hawk migration time after all.
Oh - banding - we banded a Gray Catbird. Numbers of catbirds on the property are way down. Looks like the high numbers from recent weeks have moved on. Still we should have more of them this winter.
We also banded a House Wren. Only the second one for the property. We have moved the nets closer to the pond as we have learned that more birds hang out there in the late autumn/winter. It seems the House Wrens like that habitat.
Lastly we had a Palm Warbler. Three of them teased us most of the day. They foraged near the banding table so we moved a net. The one we caught was in an entirely different net.
NOTE: Next week there is an event happening at Possum Long so we will not be banding there on November 4.
Next banding November 11. Nets go up at 6 am.