Sunday, May 17, 2009

More photos from Saturday

Besides the group of sparrows we had on Saturday, we caught some other pretty nice species including this Eastern Kingbird, Tyrannus tyrannus which is not a species we handle very often. What is great about having them in the hand is seeing things not ordinarily obvious in the field.

When this bird got upset, the red crown patch was clearly visible as it displayed. Lots of people don't even know that Eastern Kingbirds have such a patch. Getting a good look at characteristics like this just makes you want to look at birds closer in the field.

The bird with the strongest wing muscles and the stubbiest legs was this Tree Swallow, Tachycineta bicolor. We used to catch lots of swallows when we had access to a nesting area at Carver Park but changes to the park trails has pretty much eliminated the nesting site. Many of the visitors to the banding program were impressed by the iridescent color of the head and back feathers.

Finally, we even caught a Palm Warbler, Dendroica palmarum, which is ordinarily already through this region by now. We seem to be a bit behind on the expected timing of migration. Even if birds are delayed in their movement north, they make up for lost time by spending less time courting and should pull off this years young right on time.

The fact that some of the early movers are still here will make my Field Ornithology class just that much more fun to teach!

Tomorrow - photos from banding at Ritter farm.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

I have never seen that crown patch before. Very neat.

J. Andrew Boyle said...

Crown patch is way cool.

I always wanted to catch Tree Swallows but they always seem to fly juuuust over the top.