Thursday September 27, 2012.  230 new of 30 species; 56 recaps.  New species Eastern Phoebe.  At mid-morning, we banded our 3,000th bird of the fall, a Blackpoll Warbler.  Just around 1 PM, when the BTC students arrived, we were inundated with massive, swirling, noisy flocks of starlings.  Not only did they devour just about every berry remaining in the area, they got caught in at least 15 of our nets, giving the students a real challenge to remove them and band them.  We banded 50 of them, and let the remaining 30 or so go free.

How many net-pickers does it take to remove a dozen starlings from a net?
Photo by Gayle Lazoration

RIT BTC students removing starlings from the nets.  Photo by Gayle Lazoration

John Waud and BTC students trying to free the last starlings from the net.  Photo by Gayle Lazoration

The students definitely know how to age and sex starlings, as well as how to stay calm in a crisis!   We even took the 2012 BTC Class picture with the students and our staff holding a starling they had each just banded.

The Stellar Starling Fall 2012 RIT BTC ClassPhoto by Ryan Kayhart

The stellar starling fall 2012 RIT BTC class.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

We also banded 51 White-throated Sparrows as well as 8 warbler species.  Nancy Bompczyk helped all day and Jason Mayberry from Canisius College joined us and collected a hypoboscid fly and hopes to return to collect more in the future.   Betsy Brooks