A number of new (human) visitors made their way into the banding area today and we all had a great time watching birds and even catching a few. Weather is nice and warm, finally, and birds are preparing to feed as much as possible before heading out. However, most birds were keeping high in the treetops so we didn't catch a ton of birds.
Mostly, we had recaptures, including a Carolina Wren.
Soon, we were also getting a couple of Northern Cardinals, including this gorgeous female.
Drawing a lot of attention during the morning was the pair of Barred Owls who are preparing for the next brood. They were nuzzling on a branch near the nest tree and later shared a branch for resting.
Here is a cropped version of the male...
...and one of the female.
Andrew took a walk out toward the lake. Not much out there today. However, he did nearly step on a Rat Snake as he returned back to the net lanes.
A couple birds were witnessed bouncing or escaping from nets through the day. Black and White Warbler, Mourning Dove, and Brown Thrasher all were this close... But we did grab a Gray Catbird soon enough.
We enlisted Gail, a new visitor, to help record data on our Catbird and she was rewarded by being allowed to release the bird back into the wild.
Soon, friend Paul Hueber and Gail headed over to the Lake Lotus boardwalk and found an American Bittern in the lake.
Regardless of that great find, they missed our Bird-of-the-Day five minutes after they left us. A female Painted Bunting!
Maddie, our new recruit, got to release the Bunting.
While recording data, we discovered a Ground Skink hiding amongst the items on the storage table.
One more surprise awaited us before the day ended. We captured a male Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warbler down near the pier.
A nice addition and only the 2nd Myrtle banded here. We are improving the habitat to hopefully bring in more soon. William got to release this lovely male Myrtle Warbler.
Watching the weather for next Sunday. Some say 60% rain, some say 30%. Wind might also play a role. Stay tuned. We will update the plan mid-Saturday.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 6th
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.