Saturday, October 24, 2009

Migrants Still Around

In spite of the really lousy weather we've had the last week or so, I was able to get out this afternoon and do some banding at school. I waited until it warmed up a bit and then headed out. When I arrived at the banding site there were birds everywhere so I was ready for a busy day. I could hear Cedar Waxwings in the trees above and there were White-throated Sparrows all over. Funny thing was, I didn't catch any of either.

There are still some warblers around. I caught this Orange-crowned Warbler and a retrapped Yellow-rumped Warbler. I was excited about the Yellow-rump because I hadn't banded since last Sunday which means this bird hung around for a while. When I caught it the first time it was carrying zero fat. Today it was full of fat. In the last 6 days this bird gained 3 grams of weight. That may not sound like much but when you only weigh 14 grams that's quite a bit.

Last catch of the day were 2 Golden-crowned Kinglets. With the days getting shorter I was banding this bird as it was almost dark. You can tell by the photo that I was getting finished just in time.

The bird that was in the toughest shape today was this male Northern Cardinal that I got in the first net run of the day. The bird was in full molt, it had pin feathers all over. The oddest thing though is that it was missing part of its right leg. It appears to be an old injury that is completely healed. Besides the injury the bird was in good body condition. I couldn't tell if there was a specific problem or what. It's plumage was adult.

When it came out of the bag for banding it had shed it's tail feathers. You can see how much of the retrices were still in their sheath.

Totals for the day are as follows:

Golden-crowned Kinglet (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (2)
Orange-crowned Warbler (1)
Black-capped Chickadee (2)
Fox Sparrow (4)
Northern Cardinal (1)
American Robin (1)

We're going to try and make a run to Wisconsin to band at Mr. Neil's tomorrow but the weather sounds iffy. It will be nice just to get back to the place to see what's around. I would love to catch some more Tufted Titmice before this year's banding is over.


Kirk Mona said...

I'd be happy to just SEE a tufted titmouse this year. They were mysteriously absent on my forays into Wisconsin this year.

cindyzlogic said...

Great post! Love to see what you catch! The Warblers are so cute!