August 6th – Yellow Warblers on the Move?

It was much cooler this morning than it has been for awhile and the humidity was low – very nice! Although Yellow Warblers weren’t particularly noticeable (I heard/saw only 2), they were around, as we handled 12 birds, banding 9 and retrapping 3. The 3 retraps were all adult birds (one had been banded as a young bird in July 2006 making it 4 years old) and all of them had finished their pre-basic moult and all of them had good fat loads – the sort of fat loads we see on migrating birds. These are getting ready to go….very soon. The nine banded birds were all young (HY) birds and had no fat or next to none. It will be awhile before these birds get underway (but remember: they can pack it on quickly when they have to). These may be “dispersing” birds: young birds that are moving away from their natal areas to check out potential breeding sites for next year.

Another interesting retrap was a male Indigo Bunting that was an adult when we banded it in July 2006 making it at least 5 years old. Its plumage was stunning. Hopefully Jeff MacLeod (the “blog master”) will post the picture of it in the next couple of days. When it’s up, note the blue edging to all the feathers – something that is absent in younger birds.

There was a lot of work going on in the Butterfly Meadow (and has been going on for a week) – staff and volunteers planting wildflower plugs in an attempt to iincrease its plant diversity and, thus, its attractiveness to a wider range of butterflies and insects.

Banded 21:
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
4 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers
9 Yellow Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Finch
1 American Goldfinch

Retrapped 17:
1 Hairy Woodpecker
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 House Wrens
3 Yellow Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal
1 Indigo Bunting
3 Song Sparrows
2 American Goldfinches

Et’s: 43 spp.


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