Sunday, August 29, 2010

Windy, Hot and Buggy

Weather once again got in the way of catching lots of birds on Saturday. The winds were quite strong for using nets and in the places where the wind was blocked the mosquitoes were aggressive. In spite of these trials and tribulations I did handle a couple of nice individuals.

Young Northern Cardinals are easy to age due to the overall plumage seen and the dark bill. Some young male birds can be sexed if they have any red feathers starting to molt in on their body but this individual showed no red.

I don't know the sex of this bird but I do believe it may have been from a later or possibly second brood to still have this dark bill although you can see the edges beginning to lighten.

The first Ovenbird of the fall migration was the last bird caught for the day. I really like these birds for their crisp plumage and long legs (makes banding easy!).

I did have a funny thing happen during banding with a flycatcher we caught. While checking one of the nets we found a Traill's Flycatcher in one and as we extracted it the bird seemed stressed and possibly in trouble. Not moving, eyes closed, etc.. We got it out and took it back to the banding table where we gave it a bit of water and decided we would release it without banding so as not to stress it any more. Well as soon as I opened my hand the little faker jumped out and flew off as strong as any normal healthy bird would. I think I got fooled by a bird "playing possum"! The even funnier part is that we went to check the nets again and there was the little faker in the net closest to the banding table. This time the bird got his band and we got our data!

Next chance to band will be next weekend and the weather is supposed to cool by then. Hopefully the warblers being reported up north will make their way down here.


Dan Tallman said...

Northfield banding this weekend was also hot, windy, relatively birdless, and full of mosquitoes.

Amy said...

Funny story about the 'actor' flycatcher!