Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December 16, 2014

Today was better than expected.  We did not run as many nets as last week as fewer members of the team could be there.  We caught a Northern Cardinal early in the morning.  Then we got three Gray Catbirds, two of which were recaptures.  One of those was the one we recaptured last week.

Then we got a Painted Bunting.  It appears to be a green (female or first-year male) that has been using the new feeder (see Painted Buntings - Season Two).

Painted Bunting
Photo by Nancy LaFramboise

A good sized flock of warblers and a Blue-headed Vireo visited the station.  It was nice to search through the group that was mostly Yellow-rumped Warblers to find a Black-throated Blue, a Black-and-white, and a Prairie.  We later caught and banded a Black-and-white Warbler for a little excitement.

Black-and-white Warbler
Photo by Jane Wiewora

We closed up a bit early and headed home.  Be aware that we will not be banding for at least a few weeks.  Painted Buntings are keeping us busy and Possum Long will be quiet in the next few weeks.  I will post again before the next session.  Enjoy the break and see you in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 9, 2014

Today started with a recaptured Blue Jay and and then a rush and boy what a rush it was!!  We had two nets at the pond and a warbler flock hit the nets and  had at least 17 birds to extract and band. Never had that happen before!  We closed all the other nets and extracted the birds.  They were safely put into weighing bags and then processed.  If you have ever put a towel over a pet bird's cage or seen a falconer's bird with a hood on, you know this is a good way to keep birds calm.

Birds waiting to be processed (and a few more to come) 
Photo by Georgia Binderow

When this photo was taken Nancy Price was still extracting birds and I had a bird in hand.  A Gray Catbird had already been banded and released.  We ended up banding 6 Palm and 6 Yellow-rumped Warblers.  Several birds were released before banding for a variety of reasons including one that had a healed leg fracture and one that had a swollen leg and was likely ill.  No need to add to the compromised state they were already in.  We also released a previously banded Northern Cardinal.

Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle subspecies)
Photo by Marta Isaacson

Palm Warbler
Photo by Marta Isaacson

Palm Warbler
Photo by Marta Isaacson

Then there was a long lull until we caught 2 more Gray Catbirds.  One new bird and one a recapture.  We had never recaptured a Gray Catbird from a previous season until today.  The bird had been banded in April, 2013 and was an adult then.  This means it was born in 2011 and is still around.  It also means it has traveled to its breeding territory twice and then came back to pass through or over-winter at Possum Long once again.

Gray Catbird
Photo by Georgia Binderow

Our last capture of the day was a White-eyed Vireo that was banded in February, 2013.  Great returns and site fidelity for these two birds. (The first Blue Jay was also banded in 2013 but was likely a resident and nearby since it was banded.)

White-eyed Vireo
Photo by Pete Grannis

Because we had such a great day we will band again on December 16.  Nets go up at 6:30.  After that we will be taking a break until late January or early February.  Watch the blog for start-up notices.