Sunday, February 23, 2014

Foggy Yet Productive

What do you think happened Saturday? If you follow this blog you can guess that it rained. Again. As the front pushed through overnight it left us with more fog in the morning but was promised to clear fairly early. Not really. Our first bird was a recaptured Gray Catbird. This was our white-throated bird be first banded a few months ago.

Gray Catbird

Next up was a recaptured Carolina Wren actually banded across the river during a recent Earth Day event. Usually, the wrens stick to one side of the river or other so it was a nice data point to pick this one up on 'our' side.

Carolina Wren

We then captured a new female Northern Cardinal. Still can't believe we are still getting new Cardinals. Must be moving in to breed as she had a developing brood patch. She was also a younger bird. And very 'bitey', thus the twig.

Northern Cardinal

Before the Sun rose too high we got one of two Eastern Phoebes for the day.

Eastern Phoebe

The fog continued to linger way beyond the expected time frame.


Yellow-rumped Warblers began to feed and hit the nets as the morning wore on.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Richard began to check nest boxes but only found a Flying Squirrel in one of the sites.

Flying Squirrel

Spider Wort are beginning to bloom. We did not even notice the grasshopper hiding in there when the photo was taken.

Spider Wort

Nearby, Innocense is poking up through the leaf litter.


Tent Caterpillars are setting up homes along the lanes and as the morning warmed up they were emerging to feed along the branches.

Tent Caterpillars

The Wild Radish plants are spreading all over among the Earth Smoke and are the most healthy we have ever had here.

Wild Radish

The yellow blooms are a nice contrast against the greens even in the fog.

Wild Radish

We took a soggy trek out to the lake and the fog was still holding tight but was appearing to begin breaking up.

Window by the Lake

Christine noticed one of the Barred Owls hunkered down in the oak not far from the nest tree but we had to work a bit to get a clear shot through the branches.

Barred Owl

Then the sunlight finally broke through the fog and presented us with more banding opportunities. While we were processing a couple of recaptured birds Christine began calling for help just down from the table. We quickly added 7 more birds to our day as the weather improved.


The bird Andrew is holding above is a recaptured Hermit Thrush trapped just beyond the banding table. Susan checks the data on the previous banding date.

Hermit Thrush

We got a White-eyed Vireo which was yet another recapture for the day.

White-eyed Vireo

What Christine was calling about was a few birds in Net 11. Very vocal Red-bellied Woodpeckers were in the net. A female was there and easily extracted.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

The male was a bit harder to get out of the net as it had its tongue snagged in the mesh. After a few tries it was safely brought back to the table, too.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Many novice birders call these birds Red-headed Woodpeckers since their heads are covered in red feathers but they are named for their red feathers on their stomachs which is seldomed seen in the wild.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Brought in by the distress calls from the woodpeckers, a recaptured House Wren hit the net below the male Red-bellied Woodpecker.

House Wren

Our other netted Yellow-rumped Warbler to round up the day was an interesting bird. It had a much more 'buttery' coloring than most suggesting it has a possibility of hybrid of Myrtle and Audubon sub-species. We captured three of these colored birds last year. More research in underway.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

We will be doing a banding demonstration at Magnolia Park for the 2nd Annual Birdapalooza event at Lake Apopka this Saturday. If we are not too wiped out after that we will also band at Lake Lotus on Sunday, March 2nd.

NOTE: No banding on March 2nd. Got out of the Birdapalooza day too late. We will head back to Lotus on the 9th.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Saturday, March 1st at Magnolia Park for Birdapalooza at Lake Apopka.
All nets will be opened by 7:30 A.M.

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