May 8th – Saving Turtles

Rescued baby Painted Turtle. -KMP

Yesterday Karen wrote:
Marnie saw an interesting red stone in the soybean field, so she reached for it- this poor little one was overturned in the dirt and looked to be drying out fast, or already dead. We got him over to the water and dunked for a rinse, then I propped him amongst the grasses where he would be safe until he recovered from his ordeal. Apparently painted turtles do as the snapping turtles do- the female will lay an average of 8 eggs in sandy or gravely soils in open canopy habitat- such as the edge of our soybean field- within 200m of a body of water. The nestlings hatch in the fall but may overwinter in the nest, and emerge in the spring, as our turtles appear to be doing. The sex of the babies is determined by the temperature during incubation- warmer temperatures produce more females. The female needs to reach the age of about 12 years to lay her own eggs, so it’s pretty obvious why every hatchling’s survival is so important (they can live to be 50 in the wild!). Very lucky indeed for this one that Marnie happened to see it- it was a sitting duck, stuck on its back in the sun like that.

Yesterday was VERY windy and Marnie and Karen could open only 2 nets and those briefly but they managed to band 3:
1 Swamp Sparrow
2 Yellow Warblers

But there were some nice birds continuing to filter through like a male Black-throated blue Warbler and a Warbling Vireo.

Male Black-throated blue Warbler – there have been a couple around the past 2 days. -KMP

Warbling Vireos have returned over the past few days. -KMP

The wind had dropped somewhat during the night but was still blowing from the NE, like yesterday. This NE wind must slow migrants up tremendously – especially when it was blowing like it was yesterday. I got all the nets going but closed somewhat early when the wind again began to climb.
Banded 15:
1 Mourning Dove
1 Least Flycatcher

Nicest bird of today was this lovely Blue-headed Vireo. -DOL

1 Blue-headed Vireo
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Gray Catbird
2 White-throated Sparrows
1 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow
3 Red-winged Blackbirds
1 Myrtle Warbler
1 Black and White Warbler

ET’s: 42 spp.

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