May 13th, 2008 – the Day of the Scarlet Tanager…almost

Pictures from May 11th have been added in a post below this one.
What a beautiful day! Clear skies and starlight to help me open the nets and then the “dawn chorus” began….in earnest. Amid the tumult I picked out the hoarse call of a Scarlet Tanager – a brilliant male in a tree beside the Mansion. It flew from there into the trees above net #10 in the valley and stayed there throughout the morning, teasingly making passes above and around the net but never into it. But that was OK – it was great to get such terrific views of it. Colour-wise there isn’t a finer shade of red.

Banding was a little slow but steady with a flow of new birds and retraps and a good mix, including two firsts for the year: Swainson’s Thrush and White-eyed Vireo (I believe this was only the second or third we’ve banded at the station). The vireo showed up just as 2 photogaphers with HUGE lenses did – so they got a pretty good shot (although they had to stand 20 feet back to take it).

The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles were going nuts this morning – males were everywhere singing loudly and displaying and chases involving 3-5 birds were common. All the Orioles were caught in groups.

Banded 35:
1 Mourning Dove
1 House Wren
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 White-eyed Vireo
2 Yellow Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
1 Magnolia Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Myrtle Warbler
2 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow
2 Swamp Sparrows
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
7 Baltimore Orioles
1 Orchard Oriole
5 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 31:
2 Blue Jays
2 White-breasted Nuthatches
1 House Wren
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Yellow Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Northern Cardinals
4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow
2 Eastern White-crowned Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
4 Brown-headed Cowbirds
3 Orchard Orioles
2 Baltimore Orioles

ET’s: 55 species

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