Ya know, hard to get motivated when you get the Bird-of-the-Day at dawn? Tough. We will focus on that bird shortly. After we get the other routine documented birds recounted. We actually had two BOTDs.
Winds were out of the Northeast and clearing skies made for good flying weather so we weren't expecting a ton of birds today. However, we did fairly well in the long run. As mentioned, the first good bird was caught at 6:20 AM, just after opening nets. Then things grew quiet for a while and we ran our routine clean-up and checking afterwards.
When Andrew was bringing back the first BOTD bird back to the table, Bill and Grace called him over to get a bird out of Net 5. A recaptured House Wren was caught and quite tangled up, much like Common Yellowthroats usually do. Andrew had to don his headlamp and concentrate on the extracting process for this bird.
It was eventually safely extracted and brought in for the weigh in and other data collection.
Later on, we had a new Cardinal to work with. Grace has been paying attention when dealing with Cardinals and quickly grabbed a twig to hand off so that the bander would not be bitten too quickly. Works 9 out of 10 times.
Kinglets were back around and we caught few. Here, Grace gets ready to release a female after banding.
For the next Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Maggie checks for fat content.
Andrew and Bill were discussing the quiet when Andrew heard a fluttering call behind him. There was a Kinglet in Net 13. A male, no less! We get very few males for some reason here but this one left no doubt of its ID.
On to the real BTOD! Last year in October we caught a Whip-poor-will in Net 14. Today, Andrew saw a twig caught in Net 16 and headed back to extract it right before dawn. As he was taking the twig out he heard a croak. Turning on the headlamp, he saw a bird in the bottom panel of the net. Another Whip for our site!
Andrew kept the bird a secret for a while even while weighing it at the table.
Bird of the Day is...? Our second Whip-poor-will!
So, indulge us for a few photos. We have a lot of good shots from several photographers. Like this great shot from Grace.
A lot of pictures were snapped as this spirited bird waited for a chance to be let free. Soon...
That was the top side, now the underside...
Then, suddenly, it would relax and pose all pretty. Wish we could have caught a shot of the wide-open mouth when it was shown to us from time to time.
Before being released, our special guest poses one more time with Maggie and Abe in the background.
The Whip was banded and ready for release but still, after all of the theatrics, it relaxed as it was being let go. So much so that it decided to sit on Abe's hand like it was resting on a branch.
The bird took off right after that shot, heading directly across the river and on its way. An amazing way to get the day started and a memory for all to enjoy,
Wintering ducks and Goldfinches are being witnessed nearby. Time to settle in for our Winter season.
Next Banding Day: Sunday, November 21st.
All nets will be opened by 6:20 A.M.