Sunday, May 18, 2014

Locals Settle In

Climate Change is ramping up. Last week we were sweating in the heat and humidity before dawn and this morning we were back in jackets as temperatures dropped back into the upper 50s. In late May. Go figure.

We also had another burst of rain in the past couple of days totaling and inch and a half that rose the river levels to a new high for the year.


The most interesting fact of our captures today was that all three of them (only three) were all females with brood patches showing that nesting is in full effect. Almost all migrants are gone and we only had a sighting of an American Redstart as our only migrant of the day. Our first female was a Blue Jay.

Blue Jay

We always scan for the Swallow-tailed Kite nest once the light is up and we could make out the female secure in her spot as she has been for the past few weeks.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Our next capture was actually a bird we recaptured just last week in the same area. A Carolina Wren. Might be getting young next week or by the resumption of efforts in the Summer.

Carolina Wren

While walking back from the end of the net lanes, Andrew noticed an optical phenomenon in the grass as the dew point was reached. Called Heiligenschein (pronounced HI-leg-in-shine), it is when the light seems to glow around a fixed shadow being cast upon the wet or dry ground. For more info on this effect, click here.


Next to Net 14, the Painted Leaf are spreading nicely. Unfortunately, so are the Spanish Needles which we will have to try and thin before the next Session.

Painted Leaf

Our baby Barred Owl was moving freely around the area this morning and it eventually settled in near Momma during mid-morning.

Barred Owl

A close-up of baby as it calls. Momma earlier brought in a rat for breakfast an hour before but it still seems hungry.

Barred Owl

Momma seems done with hunting for now and just wants to rest.

Barred Owl

Our final bird was a new female Northern Cardinal in the area of a known male's territory. More birds to band in coming next year.

Northern Cardinal

As we wound down for the morning, three Swallow-tailed Kites began calling and circling over the banding table chasing off several Black Vultures that came into their territory. We might have to make some trips out to see when the young are fledged as they are one of our favorite species now hanging around so close.

Swallow-tailed Kite

One more week to go in Session 6 and it will probably be just as slow since the locals are nesting and the migrants are gone but you never know. Slight chance of rain which hopefully won't arrive until after we are done with the last Sunday.

Then we can get some sleep
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, May 25th.
All nets will be opened by 6:00 A.M.

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