Sunday, February 5, 2017

Catbirds and Deformity

One thing to be grateful for was that the wind and the bugs were down. However, it wasn't too busy, bird-wise. Most of the day resembled this view at mid-morning.

Lake

We were catching bird fairly steadily throughout our stay. The day began with a House Wren.

House Wren

It was quickly followed by a Hermit Thrush.

Hermit Thrush

The first thing in the title of this post refers to the fact that Gray Catbirds were our most numerous species captured today. They are finally moving about and calling more from the bushes.

Gray Catbird

Hard to believe that is takes most of Winter until it starts to look like Fall in Central Florida.

Fall

Eastern Tent Caterpillars are beginning to weave their homes all over the property.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

Eastern Tent Caterpillars use their tents as protection and take trips outside of it to feed on the leaves of the trees they call home.

Eastern Tent Caterpillar

We captured a Downy Woodpecker with a very deformed bill. Deformed bills, also known as Avian Keratin Disorder, is still being studied without any real answers to the cause. Birds seem to get around their handicap somehow as this is an adult male. He must be able to feed himself somehow.

Downy Woodpecker

We suddenly caught a few female Ruby-crowned Kinglets in a row. Males were seen feeding in the treetops.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Turtles were seen moving and feeding up and down the river.

Turtle

Out in the marsh, Myrtle Warblers (Yellow-rumped Warbler) were feeding on insects. Just need them to come back along the net lanes.

Myrtle Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler

This bright fungus was growing on a snag near Net 7. Wasn't there last time we were here.

Fungus

Connie reached a happy milestone today. She has been with us for a while and this Gray Catbird was her first unaided extraction from a net. Congratulations, Connie!

Gray Catbird

Hate to end on a downer. Last week, Andrew's family cat, Oscar, passed away after an illness. Andrew decided to bring him to his final resting place back in the woods.

Oscar

This way, Oscar can be visited every week we are out. R.I.P., Oscar. Such a good and loving kitty.

Oscar

Overall, it was a very nice day. We even enjoyed having it overcast. Next week might be warmer. Willows are starting to bloom which hsould bring out more pollinators. Thus, more birds should be around to consume them.
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Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, February 12th.
All nets will be opened by 6:35 A.M.

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