July 27th – Of Pheromones and Wandering Thespians

The days are beginning to get noticeably shorter now on this the sixth MAPS session. Soon, much sooner than most of us would like, the trickle of fall migrants that are now beginning will be a flood, signaling the end of yet another year. Yellow Warblers, Baltimore Orioles and seemingly Eastern Wood Pewees, have begun to move through and flocks of swallows have congregated. A young Chestnut-Sided Warbler, possibly from a local breeding pair, made an appearance too.

Sadly the rain that has flooded the area, all summer but rather notably the previous weekend, has taken its toll on the locals. An adult House Wren, tired of being soaked decided to take shelter in the banding lab while we were out on a net round. After a bit of counseling it was released back into the wild where it is hoped it will lead a normal productive life.

The human toll has perhaps been the greatest tragedy. Out of the blue Christine began recounting the contributions of zombies to classic literature and volunteered the information that her exuded pheromones are most potent towards attracting wandering thespians. As I nodded and smiled (cursing the fact there is no emergency phone in the banding lab) I reflected that Christine will not be released back into the wild as there is no hope of her leading a normal and productive life.

Banded: 53
Chestnut-Sided Warbler 1
“Brewster’s” Warbler 1
American Goldfinch 2
Eastern Phoebe 3
Eastern Wood Pewee 4
House Wren 4
Yellow Warbler 9
Indigo Bunting 1
Red-Eyed Vireo 1
Song Sparrow 6
Orchard Oriole 1
Cedar Waxwing 4
Baltimore Oriole 8
Grey Catbird 4
Rose-Breasted Grosbeak 2
Red-Bellied Woodpecker 1
Yellow-Billed Cuckoo 1 (the foulest smelling bird I have ever encountered)

Retrapped: 9
American Goldfinch 2
Black-Capped Chickadee 1
Yellow Warbler 2
Song Sparrow 3
Northern Cardinal 1


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