Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The Birds Have Finally Started Arriving

The weather forecast sounded good. The prediction on Birdcast looked great. Was it finally time for a great migration movement here in Minnesota? I got up and checked the radar at 5:30 this morning and it did not disappoint:
All those pretty colors represent thousands and thousands of birds streaming into Minnesota and getting ready to, hopefully, land in my backyard!

This was too good to pass up so I jumped in my van and headed to my banding site.  For once my expectations were met and I spent the next 9 hours banding a variety of birds, many of whom had just landed minutes before.

 There are still some sparrows moving through and some of them will stay to nest. This Field Sparrow is a common grassland resident here with a call that sounds a bit like a ping pong ball bouncing on a table.
A species that is just moving through the area is the Lincoln's Sparrow. Identified by the finely streaked buffy chest.

A surprise for me is not this Ruby-crowned Kinglet but is how many I have seen and banded. I don't think I've ever had this many kinglets for so long.

 Of course, for lots of people spring migration is all about the warblers. Well today they made an appearance in good numbers. Above is a Nashville Warbler which is one of the earlier migrants.

 The first Wilson's Warbler of the spring was this male. Only one graced my nets today but there should be plenty more behind him.

The most numerous warbler of the day was the Palm Warbler. There were so many that when they passed by it was like decorations on a Christmas tree. Spots of yellow and bouncing tails all over the place.

 And finally this handsome bird. A Yellow Warbler who flits from branch to branch proclaiming "Sweet, sweet, I'm so sweet!" I re-trapped one individual exactly 2 years to the day from when I first banded it. Based on data I have for this bird it is at least 4 years old.

Below is a summary of the species and numbers of each that I banded today:

American Redstart              1
Nashville Warbler.              3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet       4
Wilson's Warbler                1
Palm Warbler                     8
Field Sparrow                    1
House Wren                       2
Yellow Warbler                 5
Common Yellowthroat      2
Black-capped Chickadee  2
Lincoln's Sparrow             4
White-throated Sparrow   6
Rose-breasted Grosbeak   1
Gray Catbird                     2
Bluejay                             1

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