Sunday, September 8, 2013

The Next Wave of Migrants Arrive

Sometimes you just have to add some extra banding time in. Such was the case this weekend. Birds were showing up on the NEXRAD radar sites Friday night so the troops were rallied and a few of us made it out Saturday morning. The radars weren't lying. The next migration species were arriving just about right on time.

Common Yellowthroats return in early September. One was seen last Sunday out in the marsh and several were seen Thursday and Friday at nearby Mead Garden. They were the most captured species this weekend.

Common Yellowthroat

A Carolina Wren hit the nets early. It seemed to be having a bit of a frown but it was a recapture so it knows the routine.

Carolina Wren

Near the end of the morning Richard delivered a Red-Eyed Vireo to the banding table. This bird had a brood patch meaning nesting in the area. Confirmation from our friend Paul Hueber showed that this species is indeed breeding in the park this year.

Red-Eyed Vireo

As we were wrapping up the nets for the morning we had a recaptured Yellowthroat and then a major commotion down at Net 18. Richard discovered a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers in the net and they were a handful. The first one banded was a female.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The loudest of the pair turned out to be a juvenile, apparently from the first brood of the year. We know that there have been at least two broods this year with one just now leaving the nest cavity nearby.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Back to the grind on our usual Sunday. Again, Common Yellowthroats were the most captured bird species. This first wave of Yellowthroats in migration is full of females and juvenile males like this bird.

Common Yellowthroat

Andrew bands the first captures of the day, including yet another Common Yellowthroat.

Common Yellowthroat

One would think that we have captured and banded all of the local Northern Cardinals but we still keep getting them. This bird did not want to let go of the holding bag.

Northern Cardinal

More proof. Even after it was measured and banded it sat on the table, grasping onto the bag and soon flew off back into the scrub.

Northern Cardinal

Northern Waterthrushes are still around and we caught one at the mid-point of the day.

Northern Waterthrush

Becki, Joe, and Linda process another set of Common Yellowthroats as the morning moves along.

Common Yellowthroat

Just behind the banding table, a transitioning male Common Yellowthroat gets added to the data pool.

Common Yellowthroat

Turning out to be a good weekend for woodpeckers. Charles brought in a recaptured Downy Woodpecker and Becki got all the details before releasing it.

Downy Woodpecker

Then the call came that an interesting thrush was caught. Turns out that it was a Veery. They typically arrive a week later but we will take it!


Christine was having a good day down at Net 14. She soon returned with a pair of male Northern Parula. This species has been all over the place this year and seem to be hanging around a little longer than usual. At least as far as our usual capture dates in the past.

Northern Parula

We often capture birds as they chase one another and that probably was the case for these territorial male Northern Parula as they were both in the same area of the same net. A really beautiful bird when you study them close up.

Northern Parula

We are still hoping for drier conditions. Weather patterns keep soaking our feet and nets but fronts are beginning to shift. We can't complain with the variety we got this weekend, though.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, September 15th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

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