If all of winter could be like today, I think there would be less complaining and more playing outside. We had a great day to hold our February banding session at the Lowry Nature Center and we had quite a number of visitors who came out to watch.
We only handled 3 species today but one is especially nice to work with. This American Tree Sparrow, Spizella arborea, was one of the species we hadn't caught a lot of recently. American Tree Sparrows are the birds that were the basis of the banding program at Lowry some 40 years ago.
What I like is the ability to see birds from a different perspective and I think the back of this bird is just beautiful.
It won't be very long before the birds that are wintering here will begin to make their journey back north to the edge of the tundra in Canada.
The only other species we handled today were White-breasted Nuthatches, Sitta canadensis, and Black-capped Chickadees, Poecile atricapilla. The photo above is a nice illustration of the difference between the color of the cap on a male nuthatch (glossy black) and the color of the cap on a female nuthatch (grayish, sometimes with flecks of black).
As far as totals go, today we handled 36 birds, 27 new and 9 retraps. Below is the breakdown:
Black-capped Chickadee 16 new and 7 retraps
American Tree Sparrows 8 new and 0 retraps
White-breasted Nuthatch 3 new and 2 retraps
Our next banding session will be March 20, 2010.