It always seems to happen that, when I'm out banding birds, on days when things are slow the last run of the nets produces either a big number of birds or the "best" birds of the day. Sunday was no exception. After working hard all morning to catch the migrants that were around we decided to close up shop about 1 pm. Sure enough, the birds on the last run were the ones we had really hoped for.
This Blue-winged Warbler, Vermivora pinus, was one of the last birds caught but it was the one I had promised the crew we would get that day. I've always said I'd rather be lucky that good. Amber is not going to doubt me ever again!
A real surprise was this Blue-headed Vireo, Vireo solitarius. We hadn't seen any before this one ended up in our net along a small wetland area.
One of the common birds that I just can't get tired of is the male Common Yellowthroat, Geothlypis trichas, a bird of extraordinary beauty close up. They can sometimes be a pain to get out of a net because they are so small. It can be hard to know which side of the net they came in on.
This female Common Yellowthroat is well suited to hide in the shrubs on a nest but they just don't have the visual impact of their partner.
We've had high wind warnings today so no chance to band with my Field Ornithology class but I did do a little program for some elementary students yesterday (1st and 2nd grade) and was able to band a pair of Northern Cardinals, Cardinalis cardinalis, including a female with a brood patch.
Nothing hooks kids like a bird in the hand!