The day began well enough as we headed toward dawn. First bird up was a special case. A Hermit Thrush was in Net 9 and as Andrew tried to get it out it bolted once the net was opened a bit for extraction. Lost bird, we figured. By the time Andrew returned in the other direction after checking the other nets, the same bird was back in the net at the exact spot it escaped from! Creature of habit. We first banded this bird last Fall.
Shortly thereafter, we picked up a new Gray Catbird.
Red-shouldered Hawks were patrolling early but seemed more intent on nest building than hunting for food. They are rebuilding the nest they have high in a Cypress tree across the river where they fledged two young last year.
Once the sun broke through the morning clouds a few Mallards cruised up the river. They usually stay down by the lake so it was a bit of a surprise.
We then caught a female Northern Cardinal and Danny got a shot of our typical process of providing a twig instead of fingers for it to bite onto.
Our pretty girl looked more like a rooster before being released.
During the morning the Yellow-rumped Warblers (Myrtle sub-species) began flooding out of the marsh and we began collecting them quickly. Our first rush netted us 6 of them and a Common Yellowthroat we banded last year. The table became a buzz of activity.
Any doubt that this is a Yellow-rumped Warbler?
Becki's Dad was along for the day and she handed off one of the birds for him to release.
Another Yellow-rumped Warbler banded and safely sent back into the wild.
The male Yellow-rumped Warblers are quickly molting into new plumage and looking great.
Next Saturday we will be at the Orlando Wetlands Festival and will not band the following Sunday at Lake Lotus. Our next post will show off how the day went during one of our longest running off-site banding demonstrations. One of our favorite days of February. Hopefully the weather will cooperate as rains are not forecast after this next cold front hits us mid-week.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 23th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.