Thursday May 2, 2013.  79 new birds of 19 species, 9 recaps.  New species:  Eastern White-crowned Sparrow.  It might still be snowing in Minnesota, but it is officially spring here!  The bushes and trees are leafing out, the southerly breezes have finally arrived, and the Marsh Marigolds are in bloom.  We had a perfect day of banding – not too hot with a hint of cool air from the lake under clear sunny skies.

The lovely Marsh Marigolds in bloom in the swamp.  According to Wikipedia, these sunny yellow flowers have several names, including  Kingcup and Mollyblob.

The lovely Marsh Marigolds in bloom in the swamp. According to Wikipedia, these sunny yellow flowers have several common names, including Kingcup and Mollyblob.

While the bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 25 banded, I thought the real stars were the three Ovenbirds.  I’m not sure what it is about these un-warbler like warblers that is so appealing, but this unassuming herald of spring ranks high on many people’s list of favorites.  Even Robert Frost was moved to write a poem to the Ovenbird:

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
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I can’t say that I heard one today, but I’ll be listening over the next few days to come!
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Another delight today was a visit from Calvary Chapel Christian School in Farmington, NY.  These 17 youngsters (and 5 adult chaperones) were full of curiosity, and they peppered us with fabulous questions as they learned more about birds.  We’d welcome them back any day! Andrea Patterson