Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Banding Photos

Not much to say except that we had a great weekend banding with the birds of the day on Saturday being Vireos. So without comment, I'll share a few of the birds we handled this weekend. Enjoy!
                                                 Philadelphia Vireo
                                                 Wilson's Warbler
                                                     Least Flycatcher
                                                            Ovenbird

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Big Migration Behind a Storm Front

We've had miserable hot and humid weather here in the Minneapolis - St.Paul area along with strong storms for a couple of days. Checking the radar though it looks like areas behind the front are seeing big movement tonight. Duluth looks to be the winner around here.
As the front moves east into Wisconsin the birds are taking off. This might bode well for migration banding the next couple of days. Of course, the birds might just keep on going and end up in Missouri. We'll only know if we get out and look.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Upcoming Bird Events at Maplewood Nature Center

Hey everyone, I got out to do a little fall migration banding today and had a great time even though we didn't catch loads of birds. The day in the field reminded me that there is a great little city owned nature center in Maplewood, Minnesota where we do banding programs a couple of times a year. They have lots of bird stuff going on so if you'd like to get out and about, here are some of their upcoming programs:

THURSDAY MORNING BIRD WALK SERIES  
(For all ages)
Join a naturalist on a hike to see and hear migrating songbirds as well as waterfowl. Bring your own binoculars or borrow a pair from the nature center. Participants will learn how to identify birds by
sight and sound as well as keep a record of birds observed during the hike.
* After the hike, learn how to enter the observed data onto Ebird.org to contribute to science and conservation studies.
* All birding skill levels welcome!
* Attend one or all sessions.
* Wear close-toed, sturdy walking shoes.
To register, go to maplewoodnaturecenter.com and click on the Register Online Go button.
Call 651-249-2170 if you need help registering.

SESSION 1 - MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th Street, Maplewood, MN 55119
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 8:30AM-10:30AM
Fee: Prepay $5/person by Saturday, September 19.

SESSION 2 - JOY PARK
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 8:30AM–11:00AM
Participants will meet at the north end of the park in the west parking lot.
Fee: Prepay $5/person by Monday, October 3.
Directions: From Century Avenue and Hwy 94.
Take Century Avenue north for 6 miles. Turn left onto Joy Road and make second left into the parking lot. The address is 2615 Joy Road, Maplewood, MN 55109.

SESSION 3 - LAKE PHALEN
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20, 8:30AM-11:00AM
Participants will meet in the north parking lot.
Fee: Prepay $5/person by Monday, October 17.
Directions: From Hwy 36 and White Bear Avenue.  Take White Bear Avenue south to Frost Avenue, turn west (right).  Follow Frost west to the second roundabout at Frost and East Shore Drive.  Turn south on East Shore Drive.  Turn west (right) at the “y”.  Travel one block to the turn around and park in the parking area. The address on Google is 1998 East Shore Drive, Maplewood, MN 55109.
 

FREE! FALL BIRD BANDING DAY
(For all ages, youth groups welcome)
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th Street, Maplewood, MN 55119
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 9:30AM–NOON
Confusing Fall Warblers—Oh My!  Watch licensed biologists capture, band and release wild birds to learn about age, migration, and populations.  If conditions allow, take a short hike to the floating boardwalk and borrow a pair of binoculars to observe birds.
You may want to bring a camera. 
Free. Drop in.

OUTSTANDING OWLS (LIVE!)
(For all ages)  
AT MAPLEWOOD NATURE CENTER, 2659 E. 7th Street, Maplewood, MN 55119
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28, 4:30PM-7:30PM
Meet an owl up close and learn what makes these creatures such a hoot! 

4:30PM: Halloween Hijinks Puppet Show and a tasty treat.
5:00PM: Raptor Center presentation
6:00PM-7:30PM: Older kids can dissect owl pellets, while younger ones make an owl craft! Learn owl calls and go on a night hike around the pond in search of our feathered friends.

Dress for the weather! Treats and beverage provided.
Register early space is limited!
Co-sponsored by the Friends of Maplewood Nature.
Fee: Prepay $5/person by Wednesday, October 26.
To register, go to maplewoodnaturecenter.com and click on the Register Online Go button. Call 651-249-2170 if you need help registering.
 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fall is More Than Just Cooler Temperatures

The cold front that has swept down from Canada across the midwest has certainly got the migrants moving. Reports of flocks of over a dozen species of warblers migrating south have been reported in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. I would guess the same would apply to other locations.

Time to refresh your skills on "confusing fall warblers"!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Baby Cowbird

I was sitting in my family room when I heard an incessant begging sound coming from my deck. When I looked out the door this is what I saw:
I immediately knew what it was only because about this time every summer I get one of these youngsters hanging around. I also know that the "parent" raising this bird is working it's retrices off. Sure enough, after just a couple of minutes the adult showed up.
This poor Chipping Sparrow was kept hustling by the constant cries of the fledgling Brown-headed Cowbird. I didn't even have to see the adult to know it was coming into the yard when the begging started.


 Between feedings it was bath time and the cowbird just parked itself in the birdbath.

It must have been like a day at the beach.
Of course, the feeding kept up no matter where the young bird was. Reminded me of the kids who yell to mom for a glass of water when they are perfectly capable of getting it themselves. Not to be anthropomorphic...
Amazingly, the birds pretty much ignored me. The adult was too busy trying to feed "baby Huey" and the youngster was too busy harassing the adult.

If you just keep eyes and ears open you don't have to go very far to see interesting behaviors right in your own backyard. As fall migration begins to accelerate, there should be more and more interesting things showing up in your neck of the woods.

Good Birding!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Fall Migration is Just Around the Corner

I've been noticing birds in my backyard that I haven't seen regularly this summer. The Black-capped Chickadees, Downy Woodpeckers and White-breasted Nuthatches are always visiting but now I'm seeing new species.
This Rose Breasted Grosbeak likes to hang out and fill up on sunflower seeds. He (juvenile?) has been a regular for over a week now.
I also had a Yellow Warbler hopping around in my apple tree this morning looking for a meal. and a drink from the birdbath. It's nice to have the chance to let the birds come to me instead of having to go out and chase them all over. The temps are just too high for that kind of exertion.

Later in the week it should cool down and then I'll head out to see if any shorebirds are stopping over. Banding probably won't start in a big way for a couple of more weeks.

Good Birding!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Loggerhead Shrike

After years of trying to get a decent photo of a Loggerhead Shrike, I was lucky enough to find one perched in a tree. How cool is that? Enjoy!