Thursday, September 25, 2008
Last Weekends Catches
Once again our friend Amber (of the infamous dancing bander video fame) has sent us some great shots of birds we handled last weekend. These are birds that we banded at Carver Park Reserve near Victoria, Minnesota. This is just west of the Twin Cities area. The September banding has been held at a different spot the last couple of years. We band by the King Blind near Lake Auburn. This is just a break from all the sessions at the nature center and the habitat allows us to see species we might not otherwise encounter. The Least Flycatcher shown above was one of 34 birds we handled on Saturday.
One of the species that we were seeing this weekend was Lincoln's Sparrow. We caught 3 individuals to make this one of the most common catches for the day. For most of the encounters we only had one individual of each species.
Perhaps the "best" catch of the day was this Philadelphia Vireo. We have been having an ongoing conversation about fall vireos. This bird was the first individual that we are confident calling a Philadelphia Vireo. We have been noticing that fall Warbling Vireos have quite a bit of yellow on them making them appear very different from spring individuals. The ability to look at wing (primary) feathers in the hand allowed us to positively ID this bird. We are wondering if some of the reports of Philadelphia Vireos in the fall are actually misidentified Warbling Vireos.
As a conversation starter, I'd like to throw out the question to anybody who is still reading this entry. How do you distinguish between fall Warbling and Philadelphia Vireos and second how difficult do you feel this separation is? I believe in being a life long learner and I have a long way to go. This is just one of those questions that I thought I'd try to figure out. Any insights are appreciated.