Sunday, April 14, 2024

Holy Cats...

Looks like everything is about to head out soon. Lots of birds sound around but we only captured two species today.

Gray Catbirds were hitting about every netand the ones they didn't hit they were still on one side or the other. They are very active and about to head North. We captured 13 new birds and one we banded last year.

Gray Catbird

We captured 3 Carolina Wrens along the way. Most with brood patches. Babies are on the way!

Carolina Wren

We usually get our last warblers and buntings around Earth Day. Hopefully that remains the same this next Sunday.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Carolina Wren 1 2 3
Gray-catbird 13 1 14
Totals 14 3 17

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 21st.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Things Begin to Tick Up

Beautiful weather today. Winds did not pick up until 9:30 and we wrapped up starting at 9:45 when the air changed and all activity dropped to zero. Still had some migrants getting ready to move North so it was a pretty nice day.

First bird up was a Gray Catbird. We caught 3 today. They are getting restless and about to move out.

Gray Catbird

Next was an Ovenbird. We had 2 today.

Ovenbird

Then, a recaptured House Wren.

House Wren

We captured 4 Carolina Wrens along the way.

Carolina Wren

We ended with a new male Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

So, busier. Still waiting for the wave to show up for Spring migration. We still usually get some migrating warblers through Earth Day. Stay tuned.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Northern Cardinal 1 0 1
House Wren 0 1 1
Carolina Wren 2 2 4
Gray-catbird 3 0 3
Ovenbird 2 0 2
Totals 8 3 11

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 14th.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Quiet. Hopefully, Before the Storm.

We were hoping for migration to arrive today but no such luck. Turned out to be a very quiet day after a noisy danw chorus. But, we did have a nice surprise at the end of the morning.

An early Common Yellowthroat gave us some hope that the day might be good.

Common Yellowthroat

Followed by a recaptured Gray Catbird first baded a couple weeks ago. Then we spent most of the morning walking the lanes in bordom.

Gray Catbird

Andrew decided to throw in the towel 30 minutes early. As nets were beginning to be put away, a bird was being walked back to the table. It turned out to be a Common Grackle! We have banded some at the Orlando Wetlands Festival but this is the first here at Lake Lotus.

Common Grackle

This Common Grackle is probably a female based on the very obvious brood patch.

Common Grackle

Hopefully, things start to pick up next week.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Common Yellowthroat 1 0 1
Gray-catbird 0 1 1
Common Grackle 1 0 1
Totals 2 1 3

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 7th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

A Familiar Face Before the Wind

Two weeks in a row? Weather is beginning to be a little more cooperative. But, it didn't last too long for today.

First bird of themorning was a new Gray Catbird.

Gray Catbird

Then we got a nice migrant. A Northern Waterthrush. Better yet, it was a recapture. We had to dig through our data and were pleasently surprised to find we banded this bird as an adult almost excatly 6 year years ago! In the same area it was first captured. Thats site fidelity for ya.

Northern Waterthrush

Alex got to release our Northern Waterthrush.

Northern Waterthrush

Next up was a new Carolina Wren. Very sharp claws on this little bird.

Carolina Wren

We caught a recaptured female Northern Cardinal banded not too long ago. Seems she has chipped her bill up somehow since we saw her last.

Northern Cardinal

Our final bird of the morning was an adult male Northern Parula.

Northern Parula

The winds were steadily increasing all morning and we threw in the towel a half hour earlier than normal. Nets were way to visible and winds also send the insects into the woods and away from the net lanes so the birds don't move through them as much. Next Sunday looks to be a very nice day.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Northern Cardinal 0 1 1
Northern Waterthrush 0 1 1
Carolina Wren 1 0 1
Gray-catbird 1 0 1
Northern Parula 1 0 1
Totals 3 2 5

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 31st.
All nets will be opened by 7:15 A.M.

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Heading Into Migration

Nice to be back out after so many rainy Sundays. Dawn chorus was very loud but not too many birds were flying. Everything seems to be looking like breeding is on.

Connie called that she had a bird in Net 14 and thought it might be a Swamp Sparrow. Indeed it was! Usually they are lurking down by the lake's edge but this one ventured up the river.

Swamp Sparrow

Jenny always thinks that her bird photos make them look like Muppets. Because she makes them stare into the camera that way.

Swamp Sparrow

Our new volunteer, Alex, got to release our first bird of the day.

Swamp Sparrow

Soon afterwards we had a House Wren.

House Wren

Northern Cardinals very loud right now as they set up house. We captured a male and later a female with a begining brood patch. Babies are on the way.

Northern Cardinal

Gray Catbirds are heading out next month but we did hear them and got two today.

Gray Catbird

Blue-gray Gnatcatchers are also getting louder and busier. We usually don't catch them until they get distracted by chasing one another around. Today we got a nice adult male.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

You can easily tell the adult males by that bold eyebrow. He was a great looking guy.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Caterpillars are dropping out of the trees. Food for all the migrating birds, but sometimes they fall on us banders. Like this Eastern Tent Caterpillar.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Time to head out and see if our luck holds out so that we can band again next Sunday. Should be a nice day and we look forward to arriving migrants.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Northern Cardinal 1 1 2
Swamp Sparrow 1 0 1
House Wren 1 0 1
Ovenbird 1 0 1
Gray-catbird 2 0 2
Blue-grey Gantcatcher 1 0 1
Totals 7 1 8

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 24th.
All nets will be opened by 7:10 A.M.

Saturday, March 9, 2024

No Banding March 10th

Rain still forecast for the AM when we set up. Not going to chance it. Maybe we can get some fun birds for St. Patrick's Day.

BUT, remember to Spring Forward.

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 17th.
All nets will be opened by 7:15 A.M.

Saturday, March 2, 2024

No Banding March 3rd

More rain predicted all Sunday. Sleep in and hope for next week.

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______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 10th.
All nets will be opened by 7:30 A.M.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Typical February with Visitors

When we arrive in the mornings we always wonder what we are going to find. This morning we discovered a large chunk of oak tree had fallen and missed the pole for Net 7 by less than an inch. We were still able to set the net and the rangers will have a little chore next week.

Oak Tree

Spring has sprung a little early. At least thats what the Northern Parulas are telling us. They are back on their breeding grounds (here) in good numbers. But they stayed high in the trees today. Must trees are in bloom and attracting the most insects.

Lower to the ground was our first Northern Cardinal, a female.

Northern Cardinal

Then our first House Wren in quite a while.

House Wren

Eastern Tent Caterpillars are popping up in several spots along the net lanes.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Jenny came back from Net 21 with a recaptured Yellow-rumped Warbler. It was first banded 12/22 as a juvenile and is now molting into its breeding plumage.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

The UCF Knighthawks joined us today to observe banding and do a little bird watching.

Knighthawks

Next up, a male Northern Cardinal.

Northern Cardinal

Another sign of Spring: Lobilia are begining to bloom all over.

Lobilia

Our final bird of the day was a Western Palm Warbler molting into his rusty crown.

Western Palm Warbler

It was a typical late February but things should pick up soon for Spring Migration.

Be sure to check back to the blog by Saturday to make sure we are banding. Rains are forecast from Saturday through next Friday.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Northern Cardinal 2 0 2
House Wren 1 0 1
Western Palm Warbler 1 0 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 0 1 1
Totals 4 1 5

______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 3rd.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Screech Rules the Windy Day

We finally had a Sunday that we could band during, finally. It was a slow day as the wind picked steadily. We also had a feeling we would have to do some repairs after leaving the area to the bear for 3 weeks. Sure enough, there were 5 poles compromised.

Later in the morning, we found a Bear Bed. Looks like it was used multiple times. We haven't run into the bear itself. We can keep it that way...

Bear Bed

Just at dawn we heard Catbirds sounding a little weird near the table. THey were headed toward Net2 so Andrew headed up to se if we would have a Catbird in the net. Nope. But we did have a new Eastern Screech Owl!

It has been just over 5 year since we last had an Eastern Screech Owl.

Eastern Screech Owl

Next up was a male Northern Cardinal and on the way back to the table, Jenny and Alex also picked up a Carolina Wren.

Andrew decided it was dry enough finally to try for a trip to the lake. It was more difficult in the past do to overgrowth and some fallen willows. Along the way he found a new bloom. iNaturalist calls it a Southern Swamp Crinum.

Southern Swamp Crinum

Eventually the edge of the lake was reached with an open view to the Window-on-the-Lake. This is the only way to see it since the boardwalk is still closed.

Window-on-the-Lake

A quiet day. At least we did manage to get a Sunday in for February. However, it is forecast to rain ALL weekend so we have to skip the 18th.

A shame since that is part of the Great Backyard Bird Count that runs from the 16th through the 19th. If you can, get out and count some birds and report them! All the information to participate is at: https://www.birdcount.org.

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Today's Totals

Birds Processed New Recaptured Total
Northern Cardinal 0 1 1
Brown Thrasher 0 1 1
Eastern Screech Owl 1 0 1
Totals 1 2 3

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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 25th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

No Banding February 4th

More rain. So wet this year and always on Sunday. We will try to be back on the 11th. Hopefully.

February is always fickle, so who knows...

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______________________________________
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 11th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.