Sunday, May 24, 2009

Elderly Flycatcher

Another beautiful morning for banding. I was set by 7:30 am and had lots of activity around. However the numbers weren't as good as yesterday. On the other hand I had some real excitement.

This Great Crested Flycatcher, Myiarchus crinitus, would be a nice catch any day but this one was especially thrilling because it was banded! I don't handle many of this species at all so the possibility of a foreign retrap was there. When I checked the band, sure enough it was mine and the really cool part is that this bird was banded in 2004. It was an after hatch year bird then so he is at least 6 years old!

Apparently there are a couple of males with territories around my banding site because as I was processing this bird another one flew in overhead and began calling. Once I had all the measurements done I started to take photos of this wonderful individual when all of a sudden I got dive bombed by the other bird. In fact, I think he was diving on the bird I was holding and was not about to back down. I got the last couple of shots and let the bird go at which point the two birds went at it. The trouble only lasted a couple of seconds but it sure was something. I've never had a bird coming at me at eye level before. It can be rather disconcerting.

A second good catch for the day was this Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum. It was a gorgeous bird that many people don't have a chance to see close up.

That eye really stands out.

The only warbler for the day was another Tennessee Warbler. I'm afraid we may have been overflown by warblers this year. I'm not seeing hardly any in the area. I may go for a walk tonight to see if there are any in the woods nearby.

One more morning to band this weekend so I'm going to bed early.

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