April 12th – First Mosquito!

Nancy and Joanne hard at work…. DOL

What’s going on!? Summer already? At opening it was already in the mid-teens and by the time I left around 1:00 it was in the mid-twenties. Summer weather….yikes. I even saw the first mosquito of the year as it floated into the banding hut looking for a meal so it could deposit eggs in the nearby wetland. I chose not to be part of this elemental circle of life…and squashed the little sucker, perhaps depriving a future tadpole of a meal but, hey! that’s life.

Female Rusty blackbird. -DOL

There wasn’t a lot of action today. The highlight was a female Rusty Blackbird – there have been a few around but this was the first one banded this year. I really like these birds – whose numbers have been dropping precipitously.

There are still a lot of American Tree Sparrows around – we banded 6 but retrapped 16 and estimated that there were at least 40 around the site. Very few of these birds are carrying significant fat loads which would lead you to believe that it will be awhile before they head north. Let me clarify that: they’re not carrying a lot of furcular fat. But some birds were showing good weights so when we checked we saw that although fat deposits might be reduced in the furculum they still had significant build-ups of fat on the belly – “belly pads”. Enough easily to take them a good ways north if needed. With the 6 banded today, our Tree Sparrow number is 65 which represents almost half (48%) of the 135 birds banded so far.
Banded 18:
1 Eastern Bluebird
2 American Robins
1 House finch
1 American Goldfinch
6 American Tree Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 Song Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Rusty Blackbird
1 Northern Cardinal

Observed Species: 34

The ground traps have captured a lot of birds this Spring. -JDF


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