February 14th – Busy Morning

The traps were busy from 7:30 on. -MMG

I arrived at the bait site before the sun cleared the horizon and there was a flock of about 85 Snow buntings swirling around the area. They made a couple of passes and then took off heading WSW. I watched them until I couldn’t see them anymore. Hmmm….with their exit was this going to be another slow day? NO. Their place was taken quickly by others and there were birds around the traps throughout the morning. Well….either at the traps or up in the tops of nearby trees checking things out. Passing traffic seemed to bother the birds that were around today and a passing vehicle making even a moderate amount of noise would put them up.

When they weren’t around the bait site, the buntings could usually be found in the top of two large, but isolated from each other, trees. The birds would take a look around and then fly back down to feed. -MMG

Some groups of buntings don’t seem to be bothered as much by traffic noise but these were. We were wondering if this noise tolerance (or lack there of) might indicate birds that nested in proximity to man and were more used to it as opposed to birds from more isolated locations.

Another big difference between yesterday and today is that today there were almost no Horned Larks around. We banded 1 and saw just 7 – and these not until late in the morning. Yesterday they were the most numerous species and we saw twice as many as buntings. Very different today…..


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