The following morning after a very windy Birdapalooza found us back in the wind (not as steady, though) as an approaching cold front was set to bring nasty weather by the evening. Some of our volunteers decided to stay home after a long Saturday but a few of us decided to see how much time we could have nets open this Sunday.
As soon as the Sun rose the scene pretty much resembled this view with scudding clouds and an occasional spritz for a couple of seconds. The woods kept a lot of the wind buffered from us.
Andrew was unloading gear from Birdapalooza when he was asked to grab gloves from the table. Down at Net 4 was a recaptured Hermit Thrush.
In the same net just a few feet down was a dead Hermit Thrush. It had been attacked and killed, a rare thing while banding. At the end of the net was the murderer. A Red-tailed Hawk! We have never caught this species before and they are a rather uncommon sight where the Red-shouldered Hawk rule.
It was a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk told by the pale eye and light brown tail. Once we got our photos it was released in the direction of the park across the river where it soared and banked into the trees.
A bit later, we captured a new female Northern Cardinal. Always a surprise to get an unbanded Cardinal.
Our last bird of the day was a Brown Thrasher.
Brown Thrashers are beautiful birds. The light yellow eyes and buffy coloring on the breast and wing bars show it is a juvenile bird. In fact, we first banded this bird last Summer as a hatchling.
Our new visitor, Filiki (who sat with us the day before at Magnolia Park for the festival) got to release the bird. Her only response was a wide smile and "I...am...holding...a...Brown...Thrasher!" Birds have that effect on a lot of people.
We need some good weather for this New Year. Will it be calm or stormy next Sunday. Only time will tell. If we need to cancel it will be posted here.
NOTE: No banding January 29th due to weather.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 5th.
All nets will be opened by 6:40 A.M.