We have been going full speed ahead in hopes of getting a few migrant Painted Buntings as they pass through. We have 6 more banding sessions to report plus an article that could prove to be interesting to our study.
On April 8 we visited a new site, PB 72. Five Painted Buntings had been reported and we caught five only to see at least one more unbanded. With a few changes this site will be a place to return to next fall. Incidental captures included 2 Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2 Northern Cardinals, a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a Pine Warbler, a Blue Jay, 2 Red-winged Blackbirds, 3 Common Grackles, and a Mourning Dove.
On April 10 we made a quick trip back to DuPuis where we banded 2 more new Painted Buntings, had several recaptures , and banded 2 more Indigo Buntings.
On April 11, we had our regular Possum Long Banding station session. We banded a new Gray Catbird and recaptured 3 Painted Buntings. One was from this season but two were from older seasons and that gives us such good return data.
On April 12 we returned to PB 2 where the host reported a flock of buntings that had passed through her yard and may have stayed. We banded 6 new Painted Buntings.
On April 14 we returned to PB 1 where it all started! The host reported at least 12 unbanded birds and we banded 21. (No I did not transpose these numbers!). We also had incidental captures of a Northern Cardinal and two Mourning Doves. One of the doves was recently born - our first hatch-year bird of the season.
Our next regularly scheduled Possum Long session will be Tuesday, April 18. Nets go up at 6:45. When winds kept migrants from landing last year, this week and the next one were the best of the season. We can hope. Remember that when birds fly right over us, it is good for them but makes for quiet days for us.
And the article (link below): I was sent this link and while it is a sad reminder that illegal trapping of our beautiful birds still occurs, it may reveal one of our banded birds. I have contacted FWC in hopes of finding out if the banded bird mentioned could be one of our Painted Buntings. I will update on this blog.
I also received a note from a Painted Bunting location (hope to band there some day). She reported a single color band on a bird which is not what we or any other permitted bander does. It appears that possibly someone caught a bird and applied a band meant for caged birds. Whether or not this bird was caged, we will never know. It is really important that education happen to protect our native birds and to keep them from becoming pets.