Monday, September 15, 2008
A Busy Sunday in Apple Valley
This Northern Waterthrush, Seiurus noveboracensis, wasn't very happy with being one of 16 birds Mark and I captured on Sunday while banding at our site in Apple Valley, MN. It was a very good day before the rain started and we ended up with a wide variety of species. Over the 2 weekend days we netted 21 birds of 11 species. Many of the birds caught were obviously migrants and several were young of the year. We hope they visit us again next spring.
One of the more exciting catches were 2 Magnolia Warblers, Dendroica magnolia.
This is a look at the Magnolia Warbler's tail showing the white spots going almost entirely across the tail giving the appearance of a white line. Notice in the photo above you cannot see the white spots.
A group of birds that can give us pause are the thrushes. We caught two species in this group on Sunday. Above is a Swainson's Thrush, Catharus ustulatus. Note the buffy eye ring.
This fellow is similar but the lack of a buffy eye ring and the coloring on the face identify this bird as a Gray-cheeked Thrush, Catharus minimus.
One of the other warbler species we caught this weekend was an American Redstart, Setophaga ruticilla. This individual was probably a migrant even though this species does nest in the area. The local birds have probably already left.
Finally, we did have a vireo show up in our nets. The "oreo cookie" pattern on the head make this a Red-eyed Vireo, Vireo olivaceus, even though it doesn't have a red eye. The brown eye is an indication of a juvenile bird and surprisingly, there are cases of individuals retaining this color into their second year so you have to be careful when aging these guys.
The next 2-3 weeks will see more migrants moving south but the species composition will begin to change as time goes on. We expect to start seeing some of the "late" warblers and sparrows will begin appearing in numbers and will be a big part of our banding in October.