September 28th – A Deluge and Data Entry

When I headed out to the banding lab this morning there was lightning in the distance and rain was coming down. Shortly after arriving, the lightning was no longer in the distance – it was overhead – and the rain was really coming down. In my pre-retirment days, I wouldn’t have gone out in the first place; I would have simply rolled over and gone back to sleep. But I’m “into” it this season and raring to go, so, hoping for a break in the weather I showed up. It quickly became clear that this storm was socked in for awhile so I fired up the computer (donated by David MacLeod) and embarked on entering the banding data we’ve generated so far this year. The information – age, sex, fat, weight, date, time, etc, etc – that we record on each bird I refer to as an “entry”. So far we have generated about 3400 entries. (I’ve already entered the 1000+ entries on Snow Buntings, Horned Larks and Lapland Longspurs.). On a good day (when I’m focused) I can do about 125 entries an hour. That works out to around 27 hours of data entry; and the “big” days (100+ birds per day) are still ahead of us. Still, if I can do a little each day……

I got a report from the Banding Office this morning: an American Goldfinch, that we banded in November of 2009, was recovered at the Tip of Long Point on September 19th. Do you think that bird was going somewhere? We have had goldfinches recovered as far away as New Orleans (although most seem to stay in the vicinity for the Winter).

The rain abated, for the most part, around noon and I was REALLY tempted to open some nets as there was lots of activity but, no……this day would remain a banding write-off.


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