Sunday, May 3, 2009

Raptors on the Prowl

Northern Parula, Great-crested Flycatchers, and Chuck Will's Widows all started the daily chorus off before dawn and the Barred Owls joined in later. As the day progressed, all of the other locals joined in but it appears that the raptors are getting very hungry.

Must be a lot of chicks to feed.

We captured a Carolina Wren first off in the morning and later got 4 Northern Cardinals (3 of the Cardinals and the Wren all showed brood patches) and this Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

A bit later in the morning, Sasha arrived with her niece, Becky, in tow. They showed up right as Andrew was scrambling to change lens on his camera to record an unexpected sight.

Barred Owl

Yep. That is a Barred Owl perched on our net pole (Number 11) and it was searching attentively for something to pounce on. It was not too long since the Yellowthroat and a Cardinal were removed from that very net.

Here, Becky, Susan, Charles, and Sasha process our 4th Cardinal of the morning.

Banding Group

A close-up of Charles and the Cardinal.


Near the end of the trail, we found a Skipper. This was helpfully ID'd as a Clouded Skipper by friend and butterfly expert Mary Keim. Thanks, again, Mary!

Clouded Skipper

Also near the end of the trail, a Red-bellied Woodpecker was bringing food to chicks way up in a dead tree.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Back at the beginning of the trail another family is in another dead tree. Here, a parent brings in some type of insect.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Unlike the end nest, this chick comes out for a look.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Not too high above the chick, Andrew spotted a circling Red-tailed Hawk. Looking for an easy meal? Perhaps. Soon afterwards, a Red-shouldered also swung in.

With all of these raptors on the hunt we decided to close the nets a little early as to not provide easier meals for the hunters.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, May 10th.

We will open nets around 6:10 A.M.

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