October 15th & 17th – Two Busy Days!

A bird’s eye view of the “Sparrow Meadow”. -EIB

The title of this post should actually read: One Busy & One VERY Busy Day. We banded 239 birds over the course of these two days. Both were characterized by light northerly winds, cool temperatures, and mostly overcast skies. Both days were also characterized with two good crews of extractors, banders, and scribes which made the processing of the birds relatively efficient and safe.

Laurel, with birds organized according to net, heads for the banding lab. -AC

Laurel holding another type of bag – a very useful one…. -DOL

On both days the field has been filled with sparrows – mostly Song and Swamp Sparrows with a smattering of others. They have resulted in a large percentage of our catch. Interestingly a large proportion of the catching has been done by the 6 nets to the West of the banding hut; the 4 to the East side account for quite a few less. Both sets of nets are close to the grassy meadow but the main difference is that the West end has a significant growth of of shrubs associated with the edge habitat while the East side has much less. We have been concentrating our efforts to date on improving the edge habitat on the West side – and it’s paying off. Now we have to do the same at the other end. Dogwoods are especially important in the shrub mix and attract a lot of birds.

Isabel, a friend of mine from Arctic research field camp days and her son Kip were a big help on the 15th. -LCR

October 15th; Banded 76:

Red-bellied Woodpecker -EIB

1 Red-bellied Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay

Ruby-crowned Kinglet -AC

12 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
1 Hermit Thrush

Field Sparrow -LCR

4 Dark-eyed Juncos
3 White-throated Sparrows
19 Song Sparrows
2 Lincoln’s Sparrows
27 Swamp Sparrows
3 Myrtle Warblers
1 Northern Cardinal

Today, the 17th, was an especially notable day. We were catching from first light on into the afternoon. And when the dust – or feathers – had settled, we had set a new Farm record – 163 birds banded!! This id only a few days after we set the last record of 160 birds. Our team, which consisted of Joanne, Anna and myself were constantly on the go and the birds, which normally begin to take a rest later in the morning and tail off, just kept coming. It was exciting and extremely interesting.

Joanne, banding, and Anna, scribing, hard at work. They did a great job! -DOL

At one point we decided to simply “ring and fling” Song Sparrows and Swamp Sparrows to save time. As well as sparrows, we also caught a good number of kinglets and the first Purple Finches of the Fall migration.

Male Golden-crowned Kinglet. -CA

2 male Purple finches – the first of the Fall for us.. -CA

Banded 163:
2 Black-capped Chickadees
29 Ruby-crowned Kinglets

Female Golden-crowned Kinglet. -CA

2 Golden-crowned Kinglets
3 Hermit thrushes
11 Cedar Waxwings
2 Purple Finches
11 American Goldfinches
2 Field Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
4 White-throated Sparrows
47 Song Sparrows
5 Lincoln’s Sparrows

Swamp Sparrow. -AC

28 Swamp Sparrows
1 Red-winged Blackbird
1 Common Yellowthroat
3 Myrtle Warblers

Female Northern Cardinal -EIB

1 Northern Cardinal.

More Pics:

Bald Eagle taking flight. -LCR

Downy Woodpecker -LCR

Kip, learning the ropes. -EIB

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