Saturday, March 9, 2013

Lake Apopka Wildlife and Birdapalooza Festival

Today was the 1st annual Lake Apopka Wildlife and Birdapalooza festival held at Magnolia Park on the shore of Lake Apopka. We were asked to put on a banding demonstration by the Orange County Audubon recently and decided it would be a good thing to join in on. Overall, it was a good day. Tweaks will be made to increase our captures for the next event. Reports are that around 4.400 vistors made it out for this first happening.


We began setting nets just after 7 AM and had everything in oder by 8 AM. The crew relaxed for a few moments to enjoy muffins and prepare for the crowds. Andrew, Bob, Richard, and Susan were on hand to man the event.


Our friend, Paul Hueber, was there to take a tally of birds seen in the park and reports from tour goers.

Paul Hueber

Our first bird of the day was a Carolina Wren with a very prominent brood patch. She must have a nest started nearby.

Carolina Wren

Down near the lake, an Eastern Phoebe flitted through the trees.

Eastern Phoebe

Flying in directly toward us, a pair of Mottled Ducks landed near the shore.

Mottled Duck

Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers gathered and scooped up insects among the reeds, as well.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Back at the table, we captured a couple of Northern Cardinals. Many birds of this species were around today and we ended up banding several of them. It will be interesting to see if we recapture any of them next year. Cardinals give a good bite, thus the stick to give them something else to focus on.

Northern Cardinal

Back at the lake, Forster's Terns cruise the shoreline.

Forster's Tern

Despite their name, Moon Glorys begin to bloom in the early morning and brighten up the paths along the lake.

Moon Glory

Our friend Carol McCorkle from the Avian Reconditioning Center in Apopka gave a presentation on stage. She brought out one of their Bald Eagles to start the show.

Bald Eagle

One of the birds out in the crowd was a Red-shouldered Hawk which suffered an injured eye and will remain in the ARC facilities for care.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Next up was a Barn Owl. One of our most interesting, and secretive, owls in Florida.

Barn Owl

The last bird in Carol's presentation was an American Kestrel. Tiny bird. Big appetite.

American Kestrel

We caught another Yellow-rumped Warbler and had some guests around to watch the banding process.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

We allowed on of the guests to release the bird.

Guest Releasing Bird

Soon, a male Northern Cardinal to add to the list. They were hiding in the brush all day.

Northern Cardinal

The last hiking tour of the day stopped by just in time to see a banding demo.


After the bird was banded and released, Susan provided more information about tracking banding birds.


Up by the fence, Palm Warblers were beginning to feed in the grass. Always impressive to see these birds transitioning into their Spring plumage.

Western Palm Warbler

Andrew was making one last check of the nets when he heard something drop into the branches overhead. Squirrel? Nope.

Rat Snake

A Yellow Rat Snake was 'hanging out' it the tree searching for food. Finally, it showed its face from behind the leaves.

Rat Snake

All in all a great day for the 1st annual event. We will make some tweaks by next year and look forward to our involvement in 2014.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 17th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.

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