Sunday, April 3, 2016

Of Migrants and Raptors

(Getting caught up on blog posts that were not possible due to a crashed computer. Forgive us if the photos are out of actual order. Memory is a tricky thing! The species documentation is still correct. -Andrew)

Migration is picking up in both directions on this typical Spring morning. Some birds will be heading North soon like our first bird of the day, a House Wren

House Wren

Our locals like this Carolina Wren are settling in to nest and raise the next generation by the river.

Carolina Wren

More North-bound birds soon followed like Gray Catbirds. Why they even leave Florida is beyond me. They breed as far South as Georgia.

Gray Catbird

We recaptured a familiar Gray Catbird today. Mr. White Chin! This is the third time we have captured it.

Gray Catbird

Our first surprise of the day was a beautiful adult Northern Parula. Fledglings are just now being heard in the trees.

Northern Parula

Second surprise was not too far behind. A Louisiana Waterthrush headed home somewhere to the North and West.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Down the lanes the Thistle is beginning to bloom in earnest.


Dragonflies are coming out in larger numbers, too.


Out over the lake, the resident Osprey searches for breakfast near the fishing pier.


Since we moved Net 21, Richard decided to plant a couple of Wax Myrtles along the river before you reach the lake. Hope they hold on through the rainy season.

Wax Myrtle

Down in the river, the Alligator Gar are staging at the bend to pick off unsuspecting prey.They have also been seen into the marsh after a heavy rain. This one was about 3 feet long.

Alligator Gar

Our next surprise of the day was found closer to the banding table. We caught an adult Sharp-shinned Hawk! The eyes really give it away. Adults have red eyes, juveniles are golden.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Such an exciting catch! Sharp-shinned Hawks are another Winter visitor and should be gone soon.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Even more interesting, what is this bug crawling on Andrew's arm? Pretty.


Almost as pretty as the male Northern Cardinal we captured as the morning was winding down.

Northern Cardinal

Across from Net 11 we found a new moth for us. Becky did some sleuthing and discovered it was an Eight-spotted Forester, (Alypia octomaculata).

Eight-spotted Forester

We missed whatever ate all of the last crop of holly berries but the trees are blooming once again already.


We captured one more bird as we were closing nets. An adult male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. They have been teasing us for most of the Winter/Spring. Nice mono-brow!

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

An excellent mix today and Spring migration is just kicking in.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 10th.
All nets will be opened by 6:30 A.M.

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