Monday, May 10, 2010
Banding in Wisconsin
I have a chance every so often to head over to a site in Wisconsin with Birdchick and another friend to do some banding at a great piece of habitat not far from Menomonie, Wisconsin. With the beginning of migration finally picking up I was excited to put out some nets until it started to snow on the drive over. Low overcast with wind and rain/snow is probably the worst when it comes to banding. However, with the chance that the front would come through and clear the sky we persevered and had nets up by 8 am. The rain held off for the most part and the wind varied so we stuck with it and were rewarded with 31 birds of 12 species.
There were several Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Pheucticus ludovicianus, coming to a feeder station and we caught 2 beautiful males. It was worth it despite the finger numbing bites these fellows can inflict.
A brush pile turned out to be a great spot for a net and there were still some White-throated Sparrows, Zonotrichia albicollis, hanging around. We heard them all morning but didn't catch any until later in the afternoon.
One of the better catches of the day was this Pine Warbler, Dendroica pinus, and we might not have caught it if Birdchick hadn't set up a warbler chip call recording near the net. It was pretty effective in drawing the bird in quickly.
By the time we took down our nets the sky was clearing and the temps were rising. We can always count on working hard when we band at this site but it is always worth it.