June 14th – Goldfinches to the Rescue!

It was uncomfortably hot and humid at opening time – ideal weather for mosquitoes. [By the way, this thing about Purple Martins eating millions of mosquitoes…..balogna! I have yet to see these birds cruising around at night when the little hellions abound or along my net lanes where they lay in wait for me or in the forest along the census path. The 10 Martins we have in our 2 houses have had no impact on our mosquito population….nada, zilch, bupkiss.]
The M.A.P.S. protocol requires that we band only once in each 10-day period through the Summer to the beginning/middle of August. This is kind of frustrating because young birds are starting to fledge and disperse and I would like to try to band as many of them as possible but….that’s the protocol and we’ve taken on this project so I’ll just have to live with it (or set up and run different nets).
However, while some species are fledging young (e.g., Song Sparrows, House Finches, Downy Woodpeckers, Killdeer, Robins) others are just getting started – I saw a Cedar Waxwing building a nest in one of the walnuts behind the Mansion and the Goldfinches haven’t even started that.
Banding this morning was slow at best, in fact, very slow until 8 American Goldfinches decided to throw themselves into a net inspiring a rash of other birds to give it a try. One of these was an interesting retrap – a female Baltimore Oriole banded as an adult in 2004 making it at least 7 years old!
Banded 15:
1 House Wren
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Song Sparrows
1 House Finch
8 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 14:
1 Blue Jay
1 Eastern Tufted Titmouse
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 American Robin
2 Gray Catbirds
1 Blue-winged Warbler
3 Song Sparrows
2 Baltimore Orioles
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 48 spp. (including a Cerulean Warbler singing below Net #10)


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