Monday, March 17, 2014

If We Banded Leaves...

...we would have had the busiest day ever! Winds ahead of a strong front picked up soon after sunrise and kept captures of birds down and filled the nets with leaves as trees shed their spent fuel to renew again for Spring. Here in Central Florida we have more leaves fall before Spring than in the actual Fall.

However, we did get some birds early on, including a pair of Hermit Thrushes. One was banded this past December while the other was banded in December of 2012. Andrew actually heard one singing back in the woods which is not typical on their Wintering grounds this far South. Click here to go to a page of song recordings from the Hermit Thrush. Beautiful.

Hermit Thrush

Our most numerous captures were, again, Yellow-rumped Warblers though it seems that the presence of this species is beginning to wane.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

While we were banding one of the Yellow-rumps, Christine noticed an unusual pattern on the under-tail coverts. Most do not show this dashed pattern.

Yellow-rumped Warbler

We captured a Swamp Sparrow and recaptured a young male Ruby-crowned Kinglet we first banded a few months ago before the winds started gusting up to 30 miles an hour.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Since we started spending more time extracting leaves and getting no birds we began shutting nets one by one as we got all of the mess out of them and decided to call it a day. Heavy rains are expected Monday into Tuesday and we hope that clears all the remaining dead leaves out of the canopy. Waterthrushes are being heard so migration is about to swing back North.

Note: Just a heads-up. We will be banding next Sunday but will not be banding on the 30th as several of us will be out of town but we will return on April 6th. Spring migration should be underway by then.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 23rd.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.

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