July 13th – Hot and Muggy

It was uncomfortable even before the sun got up; even the mosquitoes were sweating…You never know what you’re going to encounter when you start opening. At net 6A I surprised a family group of Wild Turkeys. The eight young birds ran along the net lane before taking to the air; the old hen just ran for it. I’m really glad the net wasn’t open!

Right now it’s pretty easy to tell young birds from adults. The young ones are sporting nice, new feathers and,for the most part, look neat and prim. A few are going through a “partial moult” – this usually entails the moulting of the greater coverts and some body feathers but not much else (and certainly not the large wing and tail feathers). The adults on the other hand look downright scruffy. They are going through a “complete moult” during which they replace all their feathers including the wing and tail feathers. Some of them are missing up to half of their flight feathers and you wonder how they can even fly high enough to get caught in a net. Moulting is energetically costly and the adults usually wait until their young have fledged and are independent and then they’re right into it. Got to get those feathers changed and then head south. No time to lose!

Banded 23:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 House Wrens
1 Wood Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
3 Cedar Waxwings
3 Yellow Warblers
4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
2 Song Sparrows

Retrapped 14:
1 Hairy Woodpecker (banded as HY in 2002 making it 8 years old)
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal
3 Song Sparrows

ET’s: 45 spp.


Leave a Reply