January 16th – Establishing The Site

It’s a little fuzzy but….this is the first snow Bunting of the season! -DOL

We have the cold and all we were lacking was snow. As I left the house, a light dusting was coating the roads and fields and by the time I got to the York Airport site it was covered by a centimeter – not much, but enough. And like I’ve been preaching: to catch these Arctic-nesting Winter birds you must have cold and snow. Well, we finally got both and the birds responded. Mixed flocks of Horned Larks, Snow Buntings, and a few Lapland Longspurs took turns cycling through the trap area. Numbers ranged from just a few to over 75. In a little less than 3 hours I banded 20 Horned Larks, 4 Snow Buntings (3 females and a male), and a lovely male Lapland Longspur.

Male Lapland Longspur. -DOL

Another shot showing the black throat/chest feathers. -DOL

But the important thing is that this site had been “discovered”!! There’s a large group of birds now that know where there’s a good (and consistent) supply of food and this will bring them back day after day. Of course, they will spread out over the countryside, they won’t just stick to this site. But whenever conditions get difficult they’ll be there.

Going in style. -MAL

As with most activities, it’s important to look one’s best. And nothing says bird bander like stylish accessories from Sarah and Emma’s Banding Boutique. Above, I’m sporting the latest in bird bag totes – useful, colourful, and with a message. Perfect!

More bag detail. -DOL


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