October 13th – A Race Against Time

When we arrived at the banding lab this morning we were hit by a combination of heavy fog/mist off the river and temperatures of minus 0.2 degrees Celsius. This resulted in all our nets being frozen shut and the poles covered with ice. We would have to wait until the sun got up high enough to start melting everything before we could open the nets….and we had 2 classes coming at 9:30. It seemed to take forever for the nets to thaw enough that we could open them. At first we weren’t catching much – I guess the birds were cold too. But as soon as it started to get warm they began to move in droves – especially the Cedar Waxwings that are finding our extensive berry crop this year hard to resist. By the time the students arrived we had more than enough birds to keep them happy. We continued to catch birds throughout the day. This was a good thing since there was a third class that came at 1:00 and we had plenty for them too. In fact, when I went to close the last open net, #4, at 3:00 there were almost 20 birds in it!

We ended up banding 124 for the day; 26 retraps gave us a total of 150 birds handled.
For number crunching buffs: we set new records for Cedar Waxwings and White-throated Sparrows today. We’ve banded 254 Waxwings (old record – 135); and 340 Sparrows (vs 326). Our Fall banding total to date is 2,801 which, if we had to end today, would put this Fall’s effort in 5th place. The record is 3,827…..and we have 26 days to go…..

Banded 124:
4 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Brown Creeper
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
6 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
53 Cedar Waxwings
9 Myrtle Warblers
1 Fox Sparrow
9 Song Sparrows
16 White-throated Sparrows
12 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 House Finches
6 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 26:
4 White-breasted Nuthatches
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Hermit Thrushes
2 Cedar Waxwings
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 White-throated Sparrows
6 Dark-eyed Juncos
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 44 spp.


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