Today was the 3rd Annual Lake Apopka Wildlife Festival & Birdapalooza held at Magnolia Park on the eastern shore of Lake Apopka in Central Florida. I t was hard to determine if this year had larger or smaller attendance but one thing was for sure. Our new 'keep out' sign did the trick and left our nets undisturbed by families looking for the main trail to the North.
Would have been nice to have had it last year when we were swarming with Yellow-rumps, but... This year the Gray Catbird was the most populous species caught.
Fortunately, we had birds in hand when visitors stopped by. In the first large group was sometime volunteer Eddie and his parents. We showed them the net lanes we have set during this event along the edge of the lake.
Ruby-crowned Kinglets were all over the trees and shrubs today but they remained quiet for the most part. We only caught in the early afternoon.
Phyllis and Becki banded another Catbird and explained the process to another interested group.
Next to the banding table, Richard had his nest boxes and gave information about native plants and environmentally smart suggestions for the yard.
There were few Western Palm Warblers this year so we were happy to have at least one in hand.
This male Northern Cardinal was flying back and forth all day and even hit the nets earlier but escaped. Eventually we netted him.
We enjoy letting someone from the crowd release our newly banded birds. Usually we give this duty to children but if they are not willing then we turn the job over to one of the adults. The expression is almost the same no matter the age.
We mentioned above that last year there were hundreds of Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warblers around. This year we only managed to catch one.
A female Northern Cardinal added to our total for the day. Possibly the mate of the previously banded male.
A nice surprise as we wound down for the afternoon was an Eastern Phoebe. Usually they stay out in the open but this one was deep in the brush.
The last big group of the day got to see one of our most adorable birds. An Ovenbird. Those tiny hands can't resist a chance to touch such a beautiful bird.
Now it is ready for its close-up before being released.
Overall, a successful event, again. We look forward to next year and prepare for tomorrow back at Lake Lotus.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 15th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M. Sunday.