Sunday, March 26, 2017

Less Wind, Few Birds

The winds finally backed off for a bit but the birds present were also down. However, it is nice to start the day with an Eastern Screech Owl. It was captured just at dawn.

Eastern Screech Owl

Eastern Screech Owls always close their eyes or sometimes wink when they are being banded.

Eastern Screech Owl

The silly owl did not want to release its grip on the holding bag through the entire banding process. All we could get were these undignified shots. Once we carefully removed those talons from the bag the owl quickly changed its posture and flew off into the woods.

Eastern Screech Owl

Next up was a Gray Catbird. They are getting rather restless lately on the edge of homeward migration time.

Gray Catbird

Other critters are getting restless, too. More and more species of spider, like this Golden Silk Orb Weaver, are setting webs all over the property. The web this gal made in the woods is just over 6 feet across!

Golden Silk Spider

Honey Bees are busy collecting food through the Spider Wort patch between Nets 19 and 6.

Honey Bee

Blue Jays were busy harassing the Barred Owls. Momma was found peeking through an oak branch.

Barred Owl

We could finally navigate into a better angle to get some nicer photos.

Barred Owl

A few Swamp Sparrows are still out in the marsh and along the lake shore.

Swamp Sparrow

Bald Eagles can usually be spotted on the far side of the lake where they have a nest. Sometimes they take a flight all the way to our side to hunt or try to steal fish from the Ospreys.

Bald Eagle

Several Green Herons were chasing one another out by the lake. This one decided to hide in the shade.

Green Heron

One of our Limpkin made its way far up river this morning probing for shelled meals.


It was fascinating to watch how easily the Limpkin could locate these snacks when we could not see any evidence that they existed just beneath the sand.


As the day wore down we caught a couple of House Wrens. The first one was first banded in December of 2015.

House Wren

William, one of our latest volunteers, got to release the House Wren.

House Wren

The second House Wren was just banded last November. House Wrens are not making their presence known so it was a little surprise to get these two before they head North to their breeding grounds.

House Wren

As we were closing up nets, this turtle was sitting in the middle of the net lane. It soon decided to head into dense grass but we thought it would be more safe to take it directly to the river. One let to the edge of the water it swam away in a better direction.


April is the peak of Spring migration and hopefully we can take advantage of this next month.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, April 2nd.
All nets will be opened by 6:45 A.M.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wind? Again?!?

One could tell simply by stepping out the front door at 5 AM that it was going to be a slow morning. The wind was easily audible as it whipped through the trees. But since we have a 'nets are always half-full' attitude we soldiered on.

Catching a couple of Gray Catbirds early on gave us a bit of hope.

Gray Catbird

Less than an hour later we recaptured a Carolina Wren first banded last Fall.

Carolina Wren

Then the Sun was fully above the horizon and the wind picked up in earnest. At least a couple of baby American Alligators were enjoying the warm rays.

American Alligator

A 6-footer was out in the lake cruising near the shore.

American Alligator

Our first Swallow-tailed Kite of the year arrived using the ample wind to help it soar along the tree line and search for a snack. Nice to have them returning.

Swallow-tailed Kite

We were hoping to catch at least one of the two Louisiana Waterthrushes seen today but they stayed down in the shadows along the river bank.

Louisiana Waterthrush

Sigh. Another day spoiled by wind. Now that migration is picking up we hope it will calm down for a while.
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 26th.
All nets will be opened by 6:50 A.M.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

That's a Little Better

The winds finally subsided for a while and it helped to make today much more productive than the past couple of Sundays. Temperatures warmed up a bit, too, making for a very pleasant day to be out in the woods. The alligators were a little more active as well. Time to start watching our step down by the lake.

We caught several Carolina Wrens today. All of them were recaptures.

Carolina Wren

Gray Catbirds were the next most captured species. All of them were recaptures with one of the birds first being banded nearly 3 years ago.

Gray Catbird

One of our visitors, Christin, extracted and got to release the first Catbird of the day.

Gray Catbird

Butterflies and Skippers are making their presence known as the flowers and trees come into full bloom. A Spicebush Swallowtail, (Papilio troilus), was busy in the Lantana patch most of the morning.


Down in the Caesar Weed, a pair of Ladybugs cuddle close.


We began hearing the hiss of the recently fledged Barred Owl before dawn and we were searching for it for quite a while. Eventually it was spotted high in the Cypress tree that is the nest site of the owls. Chunky looking little baby.

Barred Owl

While one of the adults was in a nearby tree tearing into breakfast, the other flew in and landed right next to us. Maybe it was making sure we weren't trying to get to baby or it was waiting for some scraps from the table. Either way, it made for some nice photos.

Barred Owl

Our final bird of the day was one of our returning Northern Parula. They breed here on the property and are loud and proud.

Northern Parula

Alysa is a 2nd time visitor and she got to release the Northern Parula.

Northern Parula

It was a much better Sunday and migration is beginning to kick up in earnest. We should get more and more birds per week as Spring arrives next week. As long as that pesky wind stays away!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 19th.
All nets will be opened by 7:00 A.M.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

If a Picture Says a Thousand Words...


NOTE: Time to Spring Forward! Set your clock AHEAD one hour!!!
Next (planned) Banding Day: Sunday, March 12th.
All nets will be opened by 7:10 A.M.