Monday, September 13, 2010

Bags o' Birds

Sunday showed a bit of an increase in activity while I was out banding but I'm still not seeing the warblers in the numbers I would expect. The bird of the day was American Robin. Lots of flocks moving around and eating dogwood berries. Had one group move through around 11:00 and ended up with a line full of bird bags.

Along with the robins I caught this young Swainson's Thrush. The pose with wings out lets you see something that is not often apparent on thrushes - the light stripes on the underside of the wing. Very cool to see in the hand.

Red-eyed Vireos are still around. This juvenile will show it's red eye next year. I'm waiting to catch my first Philadelphia Vireo of the season.

Another thing you don't always get to see is the different stages of molt that some of the migrants are showing. This Nashville warbler is molting in a new set of greater coverts on it's wing. If you look close you can see the feathers just emerging from their sheaths. Some of the robins I caught were looking pretty ragged because of molting.

Totals for the day were as follows:
Nashville Warbler - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 3
Swainson's Thrush - 1
Red-eyed Vireo - 1
American Robin - 5

If the weather stays warm I suspect things will slow down for a couple of days but the winds up around Duluth suggests there could be a good hawk movement today. Wish I was on "the ridge".

1 comment:

Dan Tallman said...

Warbler banding has also been very slow here in Northfield. A Warbler or two a day is all. No big flocks as in previous years. Almost all have been young birds. Not sure what that means. At least I have banded more variety than last spring. Banding has been better than the miserable migration of last spring, but curiously low nonetheless.