That time of year again. Finally.
Last year we were catching a lot of Carolina Wren chicks. Not yet this year but the Cardinals seem to be doing well. First bird of the day was a young male banded by Maria.
Speaking of Carolina Wrens, we did catch an older bird which appears to be a new adult but was probably born here last year. Guess we missed one.
Many other birds are caring for their young. Like this pair of Downy Woodpeckers.
Of course, we still have to keep an eye out for the Barred Owls. The young were calling before dawn and then we started to see the hunting adults later on.
This bird flew down to a spot on the river for a closer look at something along the banks and eventually grabbed its prey and flew off.
On 'our' side of the river just opposite the owl was a run of flowers we have determined to be cut-leaf Evening Primrose. They ranged from a mixed orange...
...to a pure yellow. Pretty!
For a total tangent, Maria discovered a small toad.
The Cicadas were telling us it was about time to head home and as we were folding nets we heard a loud ruckus near Net 11. Just across the river, woodpeckers, Jays, Titmice and a Red-shouldered Hawk looked toward the commotion occurring near the Elderberry.
The reason for all the attention was the fact that we captured two birds at the same time. A Cardinal and our first Red-bellied Woodpecker for this site. In fact, the reason this net was placed where it is is due to the Elderberry plants and knowing that Red-bellied woodpeckers eat the fruits of this plant. Only took them a year to start with this bunch!
Back at the banding table, we got to the Cardinal first. It seems our new little boy has a bit of a problem with his bill. Hopefully we can monitor it as he ages.
Still, he is a handsome addition to the neighborhood.
On to our newest species. Andrew adds the band to our first Red-bellied Woodpecker.
Then the bird gives us the raspberry! Such a pointed tongue it useful for prying out grubs and other insects from tree trunks.
The feathers are always a joy to behold when seen spread out. So often they are seen just edging around trees.
The day was ended. Whew! Interesting. New birds and a lot of invasives removed along the way. During the day and on the way out we noticed the the cold Winter may have help some of the local plants. For instance, the Muscadine Grapes bloomed like mad this Spring and the fruits are really filling out right now. Good food for the upcoming migration.
The last find of the day was a grouping of these small purple flowers. Fairly sure they are Blue Twinflower. There are a few in one spot near the fence. A lot of interesting plants right there.
Back into the heat next weekend! Maybe some new Wrens are ready to head out...
Next Banding Day: Sunday, June 13th.
All nets will be opened around 6:00 A.M.