Friday May 31, 2013:  80 birds of 24 species; 20 recaps.  New species:  House Finch.  We were all optimistic that today would match yesterday, but we were all mistaken.  An 80 bird day is respectable during most parts of the season, but 80 birds seems slow in comparison with all the 100+ and 200+ days we’ve had recently!  It’s possible there will be one more push of late flycatchers, Red-eyed Vireos and Gray-cheeked Thrushes, but it seems that migration is coming to a close.

Highlights today included a visit from Madeline, and our first “baby” bird of the season (a Common Grackle with a face only a mother could love).

Jason (a BTC student and professor from Canisius) teaches his daughter Madeline to safely release an Indigo Bunting.

Jason (a BTC student and professor from Canisius) teaches his daughter Madeline to safely release an Indigo Bunting.

It was a bittersweet day, as Betsy and Ryan were preparing to leave for the season.  Betsy returned home to Alfred this afternoon to continue her nest surveys, and Ryan will head home to Vermont on Sunday to continue his MAPS station at Dead Creek.  Katie (our researcher from Canisius) has taken a job with the Nature Conservancy and hence isn’t running the MARS trailer any longer, Jenna (our field assistant) has finished her research on White-throated Sparrows for the season, and soon Mike (our data tech) will head out to Oregon to start graduate school.  There were lots of hugs and goodbyes today, although for most of us it is really just “see you in the fall”!  For those of our flock going farther afield, we wish you the best of luck and we hope you’ll come back to visit!  Andrea Patterson