Sunday, March 13, 2016

More Wind as Migration Looms

NOTE: No banding Sunday, March 20th due to rain. We will try again on the 27th.

The morning started nice enough but eventually grew quiet and windy like last week. Most of our captures, besides a lot of leaves, were recaptures. The first recapture of the day was a House Wren.

House Wren

Gray Catbirds were the majority once more.

Gray Catbird

An early Hermit Thrush recapture was a surprise. We haven't seen a thrush in the area for a while.

Hermit Thrush

Nick, our latest volunteer, got to release most of the morning birds and began to learn the ropes on managing the nets at the end of the day.


Bees are still busily tending to their large honeycomb high up in a snag.


Just below the tree, the Spiderwort are beginning to bloom in earnest.


It definitely is turning toward Spring evidenced by the return of spider webs to move out of the paths. Besides Garden Orb Weavers, Spiny Orb Weavers are spinning their webs out, too.

Spiny Orb Weaver

We have noticed signs of mammals around but they don't come out in the open too often. Becki found a Possum around mid-morning.


Our first unbanded capture today was another Hermit Thrush. A sure sign that migration is gearing up.

Hermit Thrush

We found a young American Alligator as we set nets this morning and the unusually warm weather is bringing out the adults on the lake, also.


Swallow-tailed Kites eventually soared onto the scene and began feeding higher in the sky with a kettle of Black Vultures.

Swallow-tailed Kite

Joining them very high up was a lone Red-tailed Hawk.

Red-tailed Hawk

Closer to the ground were a few Red-shouldered Hawks shrieking to one another throughout the park.

Red-shouldered Hawk

Along with Crane's bill and Earthsmoke flowers, the Thistles are beginning to bloom.


The Barred Owls met up before dawn and then found their usual spots to roost for the rest of the morning.

Barred Owl

Nearby in the river, a Limpkin walked the banks and pulled up shelled snacks from the sand with ease.


Christine made a nice discovery toward Net 21. A Common Snapping Turtle.

Common Snapping Turtle

Heading back up the net lanes Nets 13 and 9 were filling with more leaves. Suddenly, one of the 'leaves' began to strain against the mesh. Not a leaf at all but a male Ruby-throated Hummingbird! We got a few shots of the bird before releasing it. We don't have a license to band Hummingbirds.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

It is always interesting to notice that to see the bright red in the feathers. One turn to the side and that ruby turned to black.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird

An Eastern Phoebe was found foraging in the area. We did not catch it today but there is definitely a band on this bird. Most likely one we banded here in the past.

Eastern Phoebe

We are keeping an eye on the weather for next weekend. Rain is in the forecast but fingers are crossed that it clears out for our next day out. If you plan on coming out make sure to check back here late Saturday to see if we have to cancel.

NOTE: No banding Sunday, March 20th due to rain. We will try again on the 27th.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 27th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.

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