Saturday, January 17, 2009

First Banding Session of the New Year

White-breasted Nuthatch

The cold weather broke just in time for us to do our monthly banding session at the Lowry Nature Center near Victoria, MN. The morning temperature was just on the border of allowing us to use nets but the wind was significant and there were no sheltered spots to place a net. Instead we stuck to Potter traps and had a good morning. We didn't have any really unusual species but the activity around the feeders was at times chaotic. I think the birds were really trying to replace all that energy they had used up the last few days.

Purple Finches and American Goldfinches at the feeder platform.

Feeder platforms by the library held large numbers of American Goldfinches and Purple Finches. It was good to see all the PUFIs around though we only caught 2 for banding. Another nice visitor to the suet feeder was a Brown Creeper. We watched 3 species of woodpecker (Downy, Hairy and Red-bellied) chow down on the suet too.

The program visitors were excited to see a Barred Owl perched just outside the nature center and over the feeder station. We didn't see it catch anything but it did fly over to the mew in the yard and we think it may have been vocalizing with the nature center's captive Barred Owl that they use for educational programs.

I went out to get a couple of photos and when the owl flew it appeared to be missing at least one primary feather on it's left wing.

The owl looked around one more time and then took off over my head and flew back into the woods.

The totals for today are as follows:

Black-capped Chickadees - 15 new/4 retrap
American Goldfinch- 1 new/0 retrap
American Tree Sparrow - 5 new/0 retrap
Dark eyed Junco - 1 new/0 retrap
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1 new/0 retrap
Purple Finch - 2 new/0 retrap
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1 new/0 retrap

Total species = 7
Total Individuals = 30