Sunday, August 28, 2016

August 28, 2016 Practice

Today we met Dan and introduced him to banding at Possum Long with a practice session.  We caught two birds and actually added two species the property list!  Can't wait to band more with Dan when he is free to do so.

I have always wondered why Carolina Wren does not find Possum Long a suitable place to be. Today we detected the first one on the property.  A long time coming. 

Carolina Wren
this photo was NOT taken at Possum Long but was photographed by me

The second new bird was a Gray Kingbird.  Dan was commenting how rare they are north of Palm Beach county and asked about breeding records.  We are not aware of any but likely it does occur. There are some present during breeding season near the Martin/Palm Beach line on US 1.  Like other places, these Gray Kingbirds hang out at the shopping center.  Do they benefit from insects in the lights?  Other species do.  I mentioned that during migrations we have seen them in St Lucie county and other parts of Martin county.  Today was a first for Possum Long.

Gray Kingbird
this photo was NOT taken at Possum Long but photographed by me

We banded an Ovenbird today.  Welcome back to this species.  Here's a head shot of this bird.  We only banded five this past spring (not good migration weather) so hopefully more will return this fall.  

Photo by Nancy LaFramboise

We also banded a young Northern Cardinal.  This young male still had a mostly dark bill.  It was molting in many feathers.

Northern Cardinal
Photo by Nancy LaFramboise

In Painted Bunting news, we are hearing about more returns.  Three already banded birds have been reported.  New, unbanded ones are visiting feeders.  Some stay and some move on.  Hope to band some "early birds" soon.

We did top 20,000 visits to our blog!!!  The next milestone will be banding our 1000th Painted Bunting.  Only 81 to go......

Based on capturing the Ovenbird and some bird movement, the next Possum Long session may be moved up to September 6.  Meeting time is 6:30.  PLEASE let me know if you can come.  If I do not confirm this here, Opening Day will be September 13 at 6:30 am.  Watch the bottom of the posts.

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016 - A NEW LOOK

With Marko's help we tried moving to another blogging platform but there was no way to move  everything and to also maintain statistics.  We are 20 views from 20,000!!  So, I have decided to merge the Painted Bunting activities onto the main blog feed this season.  Painted Bunting news won't all be in one place but hopefully you can follow.  

Banding at Possum Long will likely occur mostly during migration.  Good news is that we are on the verge of Fall migration starting.  First session will be around the second week of September unless we see or hear of migrants prior to that.  Watch for new posts and the bottom of each post!

From Season Three
Male Painted Bunting sitting ON a net - not going in
This bird was already banded and from the data we know he is at least 8 years old!

Painted Buntings started returning to host locations at the very end of July.  On July 30, PB 60 had a male return.  It was not banded.  SEASON FOUR begins.

Since our project started we have discovered that Painted Buntings actually return earlier than most feeder observers realized.  Now, more people are hanging feeders earlier and many hosts now are observing more.  Many hosts have a few buntings at this time.  We do know from feeder observations that the majority of birds arrive by late September/early October.  The "early birds" are either moving through and get a boost from feeding at the feeders or they are birds that have "their" feeders mapped and are staking their claims.  

PB 44 had a banded male return to their feeder on August 16.  It had been banded in Season Two.  

We returned to PB 46 today.  They had a banded female return to their feeder.  We know that any returning banded green bird is an adult and can be called a female.  Unbanded green birds can now be aged in hand so we know if they are adult (female) or birds born this last nesting season that may be male or female.  Green birds can only be aged in hand.  Many birders do not realize that green birds may be young males.

We did not recapture the banded bird (photo above) nor any of the three unbanded males that had been observed. We did have incidental captures of 2 Blue Jays, a Common Grackle, and a male Northern Cardinal. All 4 were born this past summer.  

Common Grackle (HY)

Common Grackle (HY)
Note brown juvenile feathers in the wing with more shiny adult feathers in the center

Blue Jay (HY)
Head is molting feathers as were the wings

Banding at Possum Long will resume on Tuesday, September 13 and on Tuesdays afterward until migration is done.  There will be another post but plan on sunrise.  This notice will be at the bottom of each entry including Painted Bunting posts.