Closing in on 1000

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37 birds of 18 species, 9 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was American Redstart, with 8 new bands.  It was a fairly routine day up at BBBO – we aren’t getting birds in large numbers yet, but our species diversity is high enough to keep our banders paging through Pyle.  How much black can a young female Wilson’s Warbler have?  How do you tell the difference between a male and female hatch year Myrtle Warbler?  What is the difference between a Tennessee and an Orange-crowned Warbler in the fall?  It’s actually nice to have some slow days at the start of the season to refresh your memory and sharpen your skills before you get swamped!  We are at 964 birds for the fall season – we should get to 1000 on Friday or Saturday.  Not bad, considering we haven’t had any northerly winds yet!



Wednesday August 29, 2012. 46 new bands of 21 species and an additional 9 recaptures processed. Most numerous birds today were American Redstart and Magnolia Warbler with 7 each. We added Wilson’s Warbler to the season’s species list. The weather seemed to me to be favorable for migration overnight but things were very quiet until about 2 hours after sunrise. Later in the day it got very slow again and we closed at hour 5 1/2 for lack of birds. The highlight of the day was Dave Tetlow bringing bird guide author Richard Crossley, to visit. Richard offered some new (at least to me) tips on sexing hatch year American Redstarts.  Jon Dombrowski

Another Visitor – a Beautiful Mourning Cloak (Brushfoot Family) Butterfly
Photo by Margaret Keller



August 28, 2012.  What a day this has been!  We banded 60 new birds of 18 species.  Some of the highlights included: a hatch-year female Pileated Woodpecker, a hatch-year Connecticut Warbler, a hatch-year Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, and a hatch-year Chipping Sparrow.  The most common bird today was the Magnolia Warbler, of which we banded 13 new birds.  We had 4 Veery’s and 6 Swainson’s Thrush.  These should be relatively easy IDs, but this time of year IDing these two species is very challenging and required many measurements.  The icing on the cake was when I went outside to my car, an immature Bald Eagle was perched in the tree by net 6!!!!!!  There have been many days at BBBO with much higher total counts, but I don’t remember a day that was more exciting.   John Waud

Hatch-year female Pileated Woodpecker banded!.  Photo by Gayle Lazoration

Emily banding the Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Gayle Lazoration

Beautiful hatch-year Connecticut Warbler.  Photo by Gayle Lazoration

Quite A Hawk Handfull Today!

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Monday August 27, 2012  We had a slow, slow day with an eerily quiet surrounding area. Of the ten birds captured, seven were new birds (mostly HY catbirds) and three recaptures. We watched a hawk circling the field near the station for about 15 minutes, and most likely it was the one we caught near net #9 … a  HY female Cooper’s Hawk.  A storm from the northwest rolled in, the wind picked up and changed direction, the barometric pressure dropped slightly and it began to rain just as we closed nets. A few folks came to visit with a grandchild but got to see only recaptures. They left minutes before the hawk was caught.  Marian Klik

Hatch-year Song SparrowPhoto by Peggy Keller

Hatch-year Song Sparrow
Photo by Peggy Keller

A Late Summer Lull

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24 new bands of 12 species; 16 recaps.  Birds of the day were Gray Catbird and Red-eyed Vireo, each with 6 new bands.  Visitors and staff nearly outnumbered birds today, but our youngest guests didn’t seem to mind.  Erin’s niece and nephew were visiting from Torino (Italy!), and they were great helpers as they carefully released nearly every bird back into the wild.

Erin’s niece cradles a young Ruby-throated Hummingbird.



Here are the Awards handed out at the DCBO MAPS Celebration!

Friday August 24,2012  On Friday night the Dead Creek crew got together and had a cook out and award ceremony to celebrate the end of our MAPS season. We started around 5:30-6:00PM.  Missing from the gathering were Brendan Collins and Warren King.  Here are the awards given out.

Top Bander – Ryan

Perfect Attendance – Ryan, Rodney and Henry

Almost Perfect Attendance – Becky

Nearly Almost Perfect Attendance – Warren

Not Quite Nearly Almost Perfect Attendance – Ethan

Not Quite Almost Nearly Perfect Attendance – Lisa

Some Attendance but not very close to perfect – Claire

Not even close to Almost Perfect Attendance – Brendan

Butterfingers – Ryan, Rodney, Henry, Warren, Claire, and Ethan

Best Bird – Ryan

First Bird Banded – Ireland Young and Brad Mathews

Golden Scribe Award – Becky

Biggest Fish Award – Dan

Emergency Scribe Relief – Brittany

Ryan Kayhart

Henry and Ryan With Ryan's 2012 Top Bander AwardPhoto by Rodney Olsen

Henry and Ryan with Ryan’s 2012 Top Bander Award.  Photo by Rodney Olsen

Ryan and Claire with the 'Butterfingers' AwardsPhoto by Rodney Olsen

Ryan and Claire with the ‘Butterfingers’ Awards.  Photo by Rodney Olsen

Becky With Her Golden Scribe AwardPhoto by Ryan Kayhart

Becky With Her Golden Scribe Award.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Ryan (2012 Top Bander) with Claire (2011 Top Bander)Photo by Rodney Olsen

Ryan (2012 Top Bander) with Claire (2011 Top Bander).  Photo by Rodney Olsen

Great Birds, Few Words

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26 new birds of 17 species; 11 recaps.  New species:  Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, and Mourning Warbler.  5 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds were released unbanded.  The birds speak for themselves today . . .

Emily loves Chestnut-sided Warblers in the fall!

As Ryan would say – “It was a Veery good Mourning!” We had both male and female Mourning Warblers (and a Veery as well).

4 Hummingbirds in one net check . . . all hatch year birds, but notice how different their throats are.

Emily gives a gentle puff of air to one Hummer who was reluctant to leave.

There must be one or more American Goldfinch nests near the back nets. Earlier this week, we caught an adult male and female and today we caught this adorable baby in the same net. We could hear them chirping and calling to each other all morning.

Another Hollywood glamour shot from a gorgeous Black-and-white Warbler. The coloring of the face tells us she is female, and if you look at the feather just to the left of Emily’s thumb, you will see that both sides of the feather are edged in white which tells us that she is an older (after hatch year) bird.

Slow Day with a Beauty at the End

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25 birds of 12 species; 13 recaps.  New species:  Hooded Warbler.  Bird of the day was Common Yellowthroat with 6 new bands.  The morning seemed promising as we started with a good number of birds, but by the second hour after sunrise the steady flow slowed to a trickle.  To occupy ourselves between net runs, we tightened nets by moving poles, moved guy lines to make a few nets easier to close, cleaned hummingbird feeders, and did crossword puzzles.    Our morning ended on a great note as Marilyn brought in a beautiful Hooded Warbler on the very last net run.

One of two Black-throated Blue Warblers

Our Hooded Warbler throws an Old Hollywood over-the-shoulder look at the camera

Update:  Emily and I opened the owl nets last night for 4 hours.  We didn’t get any owls, but we did get a little brown bat.  I can’t say whether it was actually a Little Brown Bat, but I can say I was glad it managed to get itself out of the net!

Oh, Deer!

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31 new birds of 15 species; 11 recaps.  New species:  Tennessee Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler.  Bird of the day:  Magnolia Warbler with 5 new bands.  We had a lazy day of banding this morning.  The birds were few, but the species diversity kept us on our toes.  A young Baltimore Oriole was a treat as his (or her!) orange feathers were just starting to come in here and there, and an older Northern Cardinal was one of the handsomest we’ve seen.  Two young teenagers spent most of the morning with us learning to net-pick and to band, and two old teenagers got in just a few more hours of banding before they both head back to college.  We had a bit of excitement mid-morning, when a deer started crashing through a small wooded area in the middle of several nets.  He managed to go through the only open gap, however, and he avoided catastrophe.  A second deer just a moment later was not so agile . . . when we went to investigate the direction he had taken, we found a net ripped in several places, with one fragment stretched out about 4 feet and wrapped around a tree.  Aggie valiantly made a repair attempt, but in the end it was curtains for the (unfortunately recently replaced!) net.

Update:  On Thursday night, we opened our new Owl Nets for the first time.  We didn’t catch any owls, but we did manage to get the first Eastern Wood Pewee of the season!  The start of this blog entry should now read: 32 new birds of 16 species; 11 recaps.  New species:  Eastern Wood Pewee, Tennessee Warbler and Blackpoll Warbler.

Just Another Yellow-breasted Chat!

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Wednesday, August 22, 2012. A beautiful sunny day.  Based on the light winds overnight our modest expectations were exceeded with 43 new birds of 14 different species.  In addition, we processed 13 recaptures of birds banded on previous days. Easily, the highlight of the day was a hatching year YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT – The first I have ever banded. The most numerous species banded were Magnolia Warbler with 14 new bands and American Redstart with 8 new bands. One of the last birds we processed was an unexpected juvenal Swainson’s Thrush with its first-basic plumage not yet fully grown. With a superb crew of seasoned veterans, the well organized banding lab, the nets already adjusted, and the net lanes mowed made for the smoothest opening week I remember.  Jon Dombrowski

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