Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. A busy weekend (in terms of birds and visitors) was highlighted by BBBO’s first Yellow-throated Warbler banded in the history of the station on Sunday! We knew it was a special bird in the holding bag when the wonderful Marilyn Guenther returned to the McKinney Banding Lab with a huge smile on her face. Marilyn got a big kiss from me when I carefully removed the bird from the bag in front of a large crowd of excited onlookers (sorry for the kiss attack, Marilyn!). The core of the Yellow-throated Warbler range is in the southeastern U.S. and the species is not commonly seen in New York. We identified the bird as a second-year female, banded her, took some measurements and plenty of photos, and sent her on her way… The weekend began with a flurry of chickadees, providing students from Cornell’s Field Methods in Bird Banding class a nice end-of-semester challenge. Sarah MacLean, a graduating senior and licensed bander, did a remarkable job as bander-in-charge on this busy weekend. The students did most of the banding and fielded questions from a never-ending stream of visitors. Birders from the Spring Field Ornithology class at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (an adult education course) visited both days and another large group from Chemung County Audubon arrived on Saturday as well. Ryan Kayhart arrived for the spring and was greeted by the first Black-and-white Warbler and Blue-headed Vireo of the season. We ended Saturday with 134 birds banded (78 chickadees) and 62 recaptures. Sunday was a gorgeous day for late April along the lakeshore. Bright sunshine and light southerly winds brought us a Northern Mockingbird and Brown Thrasher (we were hoping for a Gray Catbird and a mimid trifecta, but it was a remarkable day nonetheless). Our first Common Yellowthroat (a sharp-looking male) was captured among the 113 new and 12 recaptured birds handled. Additional warblers included Palm, Black-and-white, and Yellow-rumped, while sparrows included Fox, Chipping, Song and Swamp. Special thanks to everyone who helped this weekend, and to Andrea Patterson and David Mathiason for remaking all of the ropes on the elevated nets–wow, what a difference!

SY-F Yellow-throated Warbler.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

SY-F Yellow-throated Warbler.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

SY-U Northern Mockingbird.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

SY-U Northern Mockingbird. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

-David Bonter