. . . and it fell today.

Saturday September 7, 2013.  35 new birds of 10 species, 17 recaps.  Bird of the day was Magnolia Warbler with 16 new bands.  We started the day full of optimism, as the weather stations on the internet assured us we were to have dry conditions for the next six hours.  Even at hour 2, weather.com insisted that there would be no rain until the afternoon.  Alas . . . they were wrong.  At hour 2.5 the radar showed a huge green mass moving in from the northwest, and we decided to close all the nets.  It wasn’t long before the rain began, and – as it looked like it would continue for at least a couple of hours – we all packed up and went home.

The real highlight (and puzzle) of the day came in the form of a double-banded Red-eyed Vireo.  In such cases, we try to determine which band was put on first, and we remove the second band.  I wasn’t immediately able to find information corresponding with either band, so I assumed that the left-leg band was the first.  This is not an unreasonable assumption, given that Bob McKinney is the only person at our station to have (intentionally) banded birds on the left leg.  I took the right-leg band off, processed the bird, and released it.  Shortly afterwards, I discovered that the right-leg band had been put on by Martha Zettel, on 8/26/06 . . . 7 years ago!!!  She banded the bird as a HY, meaning it is now in its 8th year.  This bird still has a few years before he matches the record holder (at 10 years, 2 months), but we’re pretty impressed just the same.