Spring is definitely in the air. Local birds are moving about and claiming territory and some migrants are beginning to move. But our first bird of the day was a female Northern Cardinal. "Are all of the first shots of the day going to be blurry?" Maybe. Hopefully not for long.
Gray Catbirds are really getting active and they ruled the day. Mostly the Catbirds were recaptures that we banded earlier in the season.
Adding to the Northern Cardinal list was a recaptured male.
Another recaptured Gray Catbird where you can see the rufus undertail coverts.
Net 21 is being attacked by rainy conditions and we are going to reposition it so that volunteers won't risk falling into the river while extracting birds. The next big rain could erode this bank again as it has altered it in the past.
Limpkins are chasing each other all over the area as the next round of breeding is heating up.
Their calls were heard from before dawn and all through the morning.
Becky's Dad, Richard, and Charles helped out today, checking nets throughout the morning.
We finally caught our first Myrtle Warbler (Yellow-rumped Warbler) this year. Two years ago they were abundant but this year they are far more scarce.
Then we caught a second. A male that is starting to transition into breeding plumage.
A nice surprise was a Western Palm Warbler. We are hoping that the repositioned Net 21 will net us more Palms next week.
Near the lake, a male Red-winged Blackbird was calling for over an hour.
Tired of the chase, a female Lipmpkin worked her way up the river to try and find some food in the quiet in the river.
Becki and Killian went out to the marsh to observe for birds and found a couple of Marsh Wrens darting through the reeds and Cattails.
Still, the Gray Catbirds were being brought in. They may be the most recovered birds for the next couple of weeks.
With the river levels dropping, turtles are finding spots to sun. We should start to see the alligators retuning to these spots as the weather warms.
The Barred Owls are getting ready to nest and are calling early and we were graced with a bird perched along the net lanes as we began to wind down for the day.
Northern Parula began arriving a few days ago and are now singing most of the morning. They are feeding super-quick and are hard to photograph. With all of the local trees beginning to bloom we hope to catch a few in the following weeks. They breed here in good numbers.
The weather should be perfect next week. Spring is here by our accounts. Let the nets be full of interesting birds!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 6th.
All nets will be opened by 6:25 A.M.