Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Banding - May 22, 2016

Birding has been a tough row to hoe lately. The numbers of birds seems unusually low this spring and while the species are as diverse as we would expect, it's one here and one there. Pretty slow in general

Having said that we weren't sure what to expect for this mornings banding program at Ritter Farm Park in Lakeville, MN. Well, the numbers don't sound impressive but we had fun handling birds that are not an every day capture.

We had 9 birds of 8 species. The only species we caught 2 of was Common Yellowthroat. One male and one female. Everything else was a single but fun none the less.

This Bluejay was unexpected only because jays are smart enough to avoid our nets. When we do catch one it tends to be a youngster who will know better the next time.
 Our only Brown Thrasher of the day was nice to have in the hand. We do catch these once in a while but it's always fun to show the people attending our program because many have never seen on before, especially up close.

Other species caught were American Robin, Gray Catbird, Baltimore Oriole and Red-winged Blackbird (female).
 The star of the day was this White crowned Sparrow. A surprise since they are not that common in this area and when we do see them it is usually a bit earlier in the migration season. I believe this bird was the most photographed of the day.
 By looking at the coloration of the supercilliary line (the white line above the eye) and the white stripe on the the top of the head we could determine a couple of things. One was that this is an after second year bird (hatched in at least 2014 if not earlier) and that it was of the eastern subspecies of the group.
 I think it was obvious to the visitors to our program that this was a special bird just by the way the banding team reacted. A bunch of fanboys couldn't have been happier!

I'm not sure what the next week or so hold for migration activity but keep looking because you never know what might show up.

1 comment:

Betsy Kerr said...

Could you explain what it is on the radar maps that indicates migrating birds?

Betsy Kerr