Early May banding days – Lowville

May 02, 2022 – Lowville

The day of the White-throated Sparrow

I arrived at the site early in the morning to a deafening chorus of White-throated Sparrows singing their lovely song: “Ohhh sweet canada-canada-canada”. We have been catching them for a couple weeks now, but I have yet to hear or see nearly this many (perhaps 60 at the site today). The weather conditions of the previous night were favorable for migration, and when that happens, you never know what you might catch/see/hear the next morning. In addition, I also had the pleasant surprise of our first Black-and-white Warbler for the season! They’re a unique warbler that forages by creeping along trees; reminiscent of a nuthatch or creeper. By the end of the day, 25 White-throated Sparrows were caught (making up just over half of the day’s catch). What a way to start the month of May! See highlight photos below.

6 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Swamp Sparrow
21 White-throated Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow
1 Black-and-white Warbler
1 Northern Cardinal

1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 American Robin
1 American Goldfinch
1 American Tree Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrow
3 Song Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird

TOTAL: 44 (32 banded, 12 recaps)

Black-and-white Warbler – both the males and females sport this beautiful contrasting plumage, but the males have more crisp contrast (blacker blacks and whiter whites). However, the main giveaway between the two sexes is that the male has a black throat, whereas the female’s is white.

Today’s star!! The White-throated Sparrow. I decided to feature a tan-morph today since the white-morph usually gets most of the attention due to it’s brighter colors.

Swamp Sparrow

Red-winged Blackbird – a beautiful male showing a lovely red and yellow wing patch. Did you know that the males of this species are noticeably bigger than females? The males actually take one band size larger than females.

Red trilliums are blooming!



May 03, 2022 – Lowville

Another beautiful day at the site today, but perhaps not quite as busy as the previous day. It’s possible a lot of the sparrows we had yesterday kept moving last night – hopefully the favorable wind conditions the last couple nights are aiding them in making it safely to the breeding grounds! Although the numbers were slightly lower than the previous day, we actually had a slightly higher diversity of species. Included were a few new species for the year (I’ll mark new spp in the banding list). The highlight was an Orange-crowned Warbler.. quite the uncommon migrant here in the spring!

1 Hairy Woodpecker (new – although they’re resident at our site)
1 Least Flycatcher (new)
8 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Veery (new)
1 Gray Catbird (new)
1 American Goldfinch
3 White-throated Sparrow
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Nashville Warbler (new)
1 Orange-crowned Warbler (new)

1 Hermit Thrush
4 White-throated Sparrow
2 Song Sparrow

TOTAL: 26 (19 banded, 7 recaps)


Gray Catbird – first of the year! These birds are a common breeder at our site. It’s nice to see them arriving back!

Least Flycatcher – first of the year!

Our first Nashville Warbler of the year. This bird is a male and you can see his fairly large rufous crown patch.


An exciting catch! An uncommon migrant at our site in the spring, we were thrilled to catch this Orange-crowned Warbler. The orange crown is typically concealed, and was almost completely absent in this young (second-year) bird.

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