April 1st – And So It Begins…..

A first for the new site: Thick-billed Murre, quite likely blown in by the gusting, frigid NW winds. An unusual species…true….but you can never tell at this time of year. Might have been looking for its compatriots – the Snow Buntings, which are long gone. -DOL

The unseasonably warm conditions that we enjoyed just a few days ago were gone today. Instead we were met with a gusting, cold NW wind that seemed to go right through you. But it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good and I was fortunate to see the above Thick-billed Murre winging its way along the river. A long way from home but these are times when birds are on the move and maybe this one was just looking for something outside the box.

Bill Hurkmans (right) oversees the putting up of the outhouse he designed and built for the banding program at the Farm. I’m sure this will ease the minds of many participants. -DOL

Another highlight for the day was the erection of a designer outhouse, constructed by Bill Hurkmans. It’s really a wonderful bit of work and should inspire anyone needing to use it.

Demonstrating how to generate data for the new Farm Outhouse Bird List. -DOL

I would like to carry on a tradition I encountered when doing Arctic field work: the development of an “outhouse bird inventory”. I will provide a recording sheet that you can add to. I have tastefully aimed the door away from the banding hut and from the road so you can feel at ease while trying to add to it.

Kristy holds the first bird banded at the Farm banding site – a Black-capped Chickadee. -DOL

The third highlight of the day was the banding of the very FIRST bird at the Farm site: a Black-capped Chickadee. Due to the wind and cold
(and construction) we opened only 3 nets for 3 hours but still managed to band 15 birds:
1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
4 Downy Woodpeckers
5 Black-capped Chickadees
3 American Tree Sparrows
2 Song Sparrows

ET’s: 28 spp.

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