March 23rd – Off And Running

Initially, it did not look promising – 6 cm of snow covering the ground and -5 C. DOL

Never look a gift horse in the mouth I was once told (well, pretty often actually) so last week (when it was fairly warm) since Faye asked me if I’d like some help setting up nets – but she could only come today…not next week – I said sure. And then, of course, it reverted back to winter with below freezing temperatures and snow. Still, helping hands are always appreciated, even more so when they proffer muffins!

The first muffins of the Year! -FAS

And then Sarah and Liam arrived, the sun came out, the temperature climbed into the pluses, and the snow began to melt. Why not start Spring banding now!? By the end of the day we had put up 7 of the 10 nets.

Liam and Sarah in the new Net Land #3. -DOL

But, more importantly, we left 3 of them open as we were working and these were catching birds. After 2 hours and with just 3 of the nets on the go, we ended up handling 29 birds: 19 new banded and 10 retraps – including 1 American Tree Sparrow from April of 2023. The prairie field continues to have an impact. As you can see below, 12 of the 19 banded birds were sparrows. (And of the 10 retraps, 7 were sparrows.)

Liam with the first banded bird of the 2024 Spring season: Song Sparrow. -SGS

Banded 19:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
5 American Goldfinches
3 American Tree Sparrows
3 White-throated Sparrows
6 Song Sparrows
ET’s: 29 spp.

First retrap of the season: American Tree Sparrow. Originally banded April 8, 2023. -SGS

White-throated Sparrow – there’s been a small flock around all Winter. -SGS

A very handsome Song Sparrow. -SGS

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