Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ya Gotta Be Tough

    The days are getting colder, rain is possibly changing to snow flurries this weekend and the migrants keep on moving. The latest species to show up are White-throated Sparrows, Red-breasted Nuthatch, both Kinglets and Hermit Thrushes. I had a good day banding earlier when the temps were higher and there was no wind.
    A few warblers are still passing by this area. Nashvilles like the one above were pretty common along with Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers. A couple of weeks from now they should be all gone.
     The last of the thrushes (besides Robins and Bluebirds) to pass through are the Hermit Thrushes. I like banding thrushes. They have long legs and are pretty easy to age. This is a hatch year bird and that was true of every thrush I handled that day (a total of 4).
    Ruby-crowned kinglets showed up in numbers about a week ago. I love getting to see their crown up close but they are so small banding them requires a level of dexterity that my big fingers sometimes struggle with. They also have a tendency to get more tangled in my nets. The mesh size is just big enough for them to really get the net wrapped around their body.
    I added the picture below of a Golden-crowned Kinglet that I caught the previous session. Their crown is always visible but the orange feathers (which aren't always apparent) in the middle of this kinglet's crown make this a male.
     And he was a tough old boy. The picture below is of his right leg. It was broken at one time but has completely healed and the bird has full use of his foot. I didn't see it perch but it appears that this bird is doing just fine in spite of the deformity. I banded the bird on the other leg.
    Sparrows and Juncos should dominate the banding session on Saturday if the weather cooperates. If the weather is cold and rainy we'll use traps and then it will be a Black-capped Chickadee marathon. I am hoping to band on Friday also over at a site in Wisconsin. That site is good for Red-breasted Nuthatches and Tufted Titmouse.

    Check back later for more photos and a tally of the weekends captures.


EllenB said...

Gosh, Roger, how'd you get that scratch (bite?) on your knuckle? Great blog. Thanks!

Minnesota Birdnerd said...

I actually lost a battle with a Walmart shopping cart.