An interesting day at Lake Lotus. Many Catbirds were captured and banded along with the usual suspects in the form of Cardinals and Carolina Wrens. We even got a couple migrants. One was this very skinny Swainson's Thrush. Here Susan photographed the banding in progress.
You can hardly tell it was skinny with all of those fluffed up feathers.
We recaptured our speckled-eyed White-eye Vireo again.
Here, Susan releases the bird back into the woods.
We also caught a young female Indigo Bunting. In fact, most birds caught today were young birds. Interesting.
Andrew, sporting his Jay Watch hat, confirming the age of the Indigo.
Bird-of-the-Day belongs to a bird we figured we may have had a chance to capture out at Wekiwa Springs over the years as they were often calling just next to many nets at dawn. However, we never did get one. This made our catch this morning that much more surprising given that we have yet to hear them call here this year.
Finally, a Whip-poor-will! Also in the Nightjar or Goat Sucker family. These birds are referred to as Goat Suckers as ancient beliefs held that they drank the milk of goats in the field. It is more likely that they were hanging around livestock to scoop up the insects that congregate near them as the birds subsist on a diet mostly comprised of bugs they gather into their large mouths in flight.
Forgive the numerous photos but this was a special bird and we now have FOUR cameras on site instead of the usual one Andrew has attached at the hip. Case in point...
After a day at Islands of Adventure on Saturday, a sunburned Andrew poses with our special guest.
A close-up of the Whip's wing.
Once we determined the birds sex (males have the distinctive white tail feathers) and band size we banded our prize.
The Whip in an almost natural pose about to be released.
One more great shot from Maggie.
How can a morning get any more exciting? How about netting a Ruby-throated Hummingbird?
Again, we are not licensed to band this species but they are a joy to behold. Plus, actually holding them is much more exciting. She rested in Andrew's hand after struggling to get out of the net but soon departed, unharmed.
Lastly, Richard checked our nest boxes and found no birds activity but he did have to evict a Flying Squirrel. Look closely to find the squirrel running out of the box up Richard's arm.
Once it jumped from the box, the squirrel glided to the base of a nearby oak and scurried up. Maria got a shot of it as it regrouped before heading back into the treetops.
What can top this day next week? Stop by then to find out!
Next Banding Day: Sunday, October 25th.
We will open nets by 7:00 A.M.