Monday, August 17, 2009

Another Migrant, Another Sauna

Find a sauna room and crank up the heat then pour the water on the hot stones. Bring in some local plants and insects. Every now and then, toss in a small bird. That is what it felt like this morning, dripping with sweat from 6 AM onward until an occasional breeze would cool things down.

We have 2 new nets this season thanks to the Lake Lotus park rangers plowing through the side of the regular net lane. This area is close to the lake and runs through some nice vegetation. We have high hopes for this area, especially once the buntings and sparrows arrive.

Net 17

So far, this seems to be already paying off. We recaptured a female Northern Cardinal plus our second migrant, an Ovenbird in this very area!


Not the earliest Ovenbird ever caught in the Wekiva Basin but nice to see in mid-August. Lets us know migration is really on. Here, Andrew places the band on our new capture.


Susan shares a laugh while recording the banding data.


A bigger surprise was a bird captured near the end of the day. A Mourning Dove!

Mourning Dove

While not rare by any means, Mourning Doves seldom venture down into the nets. We usually hear and see them high overhead calling to one another. Here is a close-up. Unfortunately, our proper band sizes for this bird were not on hand so we released her after making some data recordings.

Mourning Dove

We also captured a couple Carolina Wrens, our most common captures lately.

Carolina Wren

Maria returned to the site today and brought her toy. A new digital camera. She spent a lot of time taking photos around the net lanes. Here, a bee inspects a Spanish Needle flower.


Somehow, a skull bird pelvis ended up along the net lane. It appears to be the skull of a catfish. Perhaps some bird fed on it and dropped the remains. If someone thinks it is not a catfish skull, please let us know.

Thanks to friend Mary for letting us know that it is a bird pelvis. I think it is still along the net lanes so we will try to measure it next time and try to figure out what type of bird it came from. Would have to be big. Maybe duck? We shall see.


Every now and then we capture things in the nets besides birds. Last week it was a large black beetle (no cameras were on hand) but we more often get Dragonflies. When possible, we untangle them and release them back into the air.

Dragon Fly

This area was used as a dumping ground for decades before being fenced off and interesting items are continually found week by week. More disturbing is the presence of what is covering this tire. Invasive Skunk Vine.


We are continuously attempting to remove invasives when time permits to aid the park rangers who do the same thing on the other side of the river.

We will have to wait and see if the developing storms wash us out next week. If not, the next session info is listed below.

Next Banding Day: Sunday, August 23th.

We will open nets around 6:15 A.M.


  1. She spent a lot of time taking photos around the net lanes.
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