As usually happens, when we get a good mix of birds on one weekend full of bird captures, we end up with a lot of visitors hoping to bask in the same kind of an interesting day the following weekend. However, as we say, "Birds go where they wanna go". Sometimes it is not where we would like them to be. Namely, in our nets for research. Today was one of those days. Skies were clear for flying and food was easily had in the tops of the trees.
Then there was the wind that shut us down most of the day. Nets flutter. Birds can see it. Winds blow. Insects retreat to the woods. Birds vanish from netted areas. We stare at plants and signs of mammals and reptiles, etc.
We did get a new female Northern Cardinal early on. Still wondering how Cardinals move about here. Seems like we should only be catching locals and newly hatched birds, but we do get new arrivals from time to time.
The rest of the day was filled with our volunteers hanging out with our 9 (!) visitors hoping to see banding but the birds stayed near the lanes though never too close to any actual nets. So we all birded as best we could and waited.
Winds kicked up early. They got stronger every 30 minutes and we finally called the day a wash just after 10 AM. As we began to close up for the day, we did find a recaptured Carolina Wren in Net 21. This bird was first banded last July as a juvenile and shed its tail while being extracted.
It is disappointing to have so many folks show up to see birds and have so few to share. There is not much to do when conditions are not right, though. There was a real chance of zero birds captured this morning so we will be satisfied with 2 and having a visitor get to release one before the day is out.
There is a cold front moving down and migration is showing signs of picking up by the weekend. Nets are alway half-full with us, so we will see what next Sunday brings us. Stay tuned...
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 5th.
All nets will be opened by 6:15 A.M.