Friday, May 16, 2008

The Warblers Are Here

Palm Warbler

The warblers have finally arrived in numbers in east central Minnesota. I spent yesterday afternoon tending my bird banding nets at my school and had a great day. The numbers and varieties of birds was quite heartening. Between net runs I was able to do a bit of birding in the area and it was obvious that I was only catching a small variety of the species present. The highlight for me was the capture of 3 male Magnolia Warblers. I can't remember ever catching more than one in a session. The most confusing bird was a Veery that found my net early in the afternoon. Even in the hand it can be a tough call sometimes (though not as bad as some flycatchers!).

Canada Warbler

Interestingly there are still quite a few "early" warblers around. Yellow-rumped and Palm warblers should have been through the area a week ago at least but are still numerous. Mark and I are going to try our hand at it again this afternoon unless the winds pick up to the point of us not being able to find a spot for nets.

This is the time of year when our time is dictated not by our needs but by the rythms of the natural world. In other words, as long as the birds are around, I'll be at my nets. I love this time of year!