Sunday, August 28, 2011

More Migrants Arriving

We spotted a lot more migrants around the net lanes today. Unfortunately, they were just stopping long enough to grab a quick bite before heading directly to the South and not coming down into the nets. Oh, well. It was a pretty good day to bird watch.

Our one migrant of the morning was our 3rd Northern Waterthrush of this Session. Bill had photo duties today and did a great job getting some shots of our birds.

Northern Waterthrush

Our other birds today were a couple of Blue Jays. The first was a younger bird captured near the pier. The first hint of it being a young bird was noticed as soon as we got it out of the bag. Notice the grey wash on the top of the head.

Blue Jay

Other clues to determine young Jays are that the juveniles have a lighter lining on the roof of their mouth as shown here. As the birds mature, the upper lining turns black.

Blue Jay

Lastly, we also noticed that this bird was still acquiring new upper wing coverts.

Blue Jay

Our other Blue Jay was an adult we first banded 2 years ago. Blue Jays are common here but we have only captured a half-dozen in the past 4 years. This adult seemed to have either some mite infestation or was heavily molting its head feathers.

Blue Jay

Here is a close-up of the feathers coming back in on the top of its crown.

Blue Jay

As previously mentioned, we spied a lot of migrants during the morning. Bill and Andrew enjoyed really nice views of a male Northern Parula feeding oh-so-close to Net 5 for a while. Another feeding flock moved in soon in which we found our first Ovenbird of the season and a number of Red-Eyed Vireos, one of which landed close overhead.

Red-Eyed Vireo

Other migrants seen today were Prairie Warbler, American Redstart, Blue-grey Gnatcatcher, Yellow-throated Warbler, and a remaining Ruby-throated Hummingbird.

Looking forward to the migrant count to keep growing and hope to actually band some of them. One month from big numbers.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 4th.

All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

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