Blustery Morning in the Icebox by the Lake!

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Tuesday April 29, 2014.  9 new bands of 6 species; 2 retraps.  New species Purple Finch.  Birds of the day were Brown Creeper, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and White-throated Sparrow, with 2 banded of each.  We operated for 3 hours before the winds became too strong and the radar showed approaching rain.  David Bonter reported that he had banded more birds in 1 hour yesterday with just two nets in Ithaca  than we banded in 8 hours with 32 nets here in the icebox on the lakeshore!  Things did not improve today, although the Purple Finch was a treat.

IMG_2539                                                                                        SY Purple  Finch  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Pat inventoried the hats and t-shirts for sale at the station; Allen spread  more woodchips in some of the worst puddles;  bander ‘conferences’ took place to discuss ways to improve our skills;  we feasted on goodies brought in by Gary and Ruth;  Betsy watched radar.

Ryan Kayhart and Betsy Brooks

Eleven birds total … not a great welcome back for Betsy!

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Monday April 28, 2014.  11 new bands of 9 species; 5 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was a tie between Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Eastern Towhee with two banded of each.  It was GREAT to have Ryan back with us as Research Assistant and staff photographer!

The aerial nets were all frosty at dawn so we let them warm up a bit before opening them at hour 1.  We had a full crew with not much to do!

We did enjoy a visit from Dr. Kristi Hannam’s Animal Behavior class from SUNY Geneseo.  They were able to see a nice variety of birds banded included a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, a feisty Northern Cardinal, several Yellow-rumped Warblers and an Eastern Towhee.  Even a Common Grackle looked good to us today!

SY-F Common Grackle Photo by Ryan Kayhart

SY-F Common Grackle
Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Lyn Jacobs continued to haul wheelbarrow loads of cut alder out to the road.  The change in the fields is amazing.

Marian Klik and Betsy Brooks

Lots of visitors flock to the station today

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Sunday, April 27, 2014.  13 new bands of 7 species; 11 retraps.  No new species.  The bird of the day was the Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 6 new bands. There were definitely more people than birds today!  We had a few visitors trickle in from Braddock Bay Raptor Research’s Bird of Prey Days, but the bulk of our visitors were from the Buffalo chapter of the Niagara Frontier Regional Camera Club, based out of the Buffalo Science Museum.  Everyone showed up at about the same time, so it was a bit of a puzzle to get everyone into (and out of) the parking lot.  Visitors were treated to a selection of our tiniest birds, including both kinglets and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, although most missed the male Sharp-shinned Hawk we had released just moments before the human flock arrived.

ASY-M Sharp-shinned Hawk Photo by Ryan Kayhart

ASY-M Sharp-shinned Hawk
Photo by Ryan Kayhart

 Leanna Twohig

A Double-digit Day

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Saturday April 26, 2014:  39 birds of 5 species, 26 recaps.  New species:  Myrtle Warbler.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 22 banded.

It was a crazy day at BBBO as we had visits from at least five different groups!  Richard Crossley and some guests from the HMANA (Hawk Monitoring Association of North America) stopped by early, quickly followed by visitors from BBRR’s Bird of Prey Days, Sara Morris’s Vertebrate Biology class (Canisius College), and Leslie Clifford’s Ornithology class (Mansfield University of Pennsylvania).  We rounded out our day with a visit from the Chemung Valley Audubon Society.

We were lucky we actually had some birds to show them, including the first Myrtle Warblers of the season.  We banded a good number of Ruby-crowned Kinglets today, all of them male.  The females migrate slightly later, so there is still a good bit of early spring migration yet to come.  Let’s hope that we get some good winds soon!

Another cool, slow day!

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Friday April 24, 2014:  7 birds of 4 species, 2 recaps.  New species:  Northern Waterthrush. A Northern Waterthrush banded by Kelly got our attention.

Northern Waterthrush  Photo by Peggy Keller

Northern Waterthrush
Photo by Peggy Keller

It had some of the look of a Louisiana Waterthrush but an email conference between Betsy, Kelly, Peggy, and Jon Dombrowski decided leg color, supercillium, aligned breast streaks and throat made it a Northern.

Peggy Keller

Frosty Nets Again!

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Thursday April 24, 2014.  18 new, 6 retraps; no new species.  It was cold with heavy frost when we opened up the nets so we did 15-minute net checks until it warmed up.  The shipment of new t-shirts arrived so we packaged them in plastic bags to sell.  Kelly stayed and hoped to open a few nets later in the day.

Cindy Marino


Rain shuts us down for most of the day

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Tuesday April 22, 2014:  13 birds of 6 species, 0 recaps.  No new species.  We opened a handful of nets at dawn, and carefully watched radar for the next 1.5 hours when we shut down due to impending rain.  It didn’t look like it was going to let up until noon, so we decided to call it quits instead of hanging around on the off chance we’d be able to open again for a half our or so.  Will we ever get a good day???

A Beautiful Spring Day at BBBO!

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Monday April 21, 2014:  65 new bands of 13 species; 3 recaps.     It was a beautiful day at BBBO today.  We had some home-schooled children stop in.  The Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows  had the highest numbers.   Several Fox Sparrows,  a Brown Thrasher and a Common Grackle were the unusual ones to get caught.

Swamp Sparrow Photo by Peggy Keller

Swamp Sparrow
Photo by Peggy Keller

Jesse Roberts came in to help and we enjoyed talking about Stillwater Reservoir where he has a camp.

Handsome Fox Sparrow Photo by Peggy Keller

Handsome Fox Sparrow
Photo by Peggy Keller

Marian Klik

Very slow day on Sunday

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Sunday, April 20, 2014.  6 new bands of 4 species; 7 recaps.  No new species. The bird of the day was the American Robin with 3.  The day started out very cold and we actually had to shake the frost off of the nets!  By hour 4 it warmed up significantly. Unfortunately the warmer weather did not bring many new birds to the nets.


Marsh Marigolds but not much else

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Saturday April 19, 2014: 16 new bands of 10 species, 10 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet, with 5 banded.  It was another exceptionally slow day today, with just a handful of typical early spring species to show for our efforts.  To occupy our time, we decided to start a daily species list of everything seen and heard at the station.  We all had great fun trying to add as many to the list as possible, but we only managed to compile a list of 28 species.  Birds seen but not banded included Eastern Bluebird, Brown-headed Cowbird, three species of finch, and Wood Duck.  We’d love to have help building a bigger list next Saturday!

The area around the station continues to change daily as spring marches on.  Today we noticed the Marsh Marigolds coming up in our vernal swamp, and more trees are leafing out.  There is a Song Sparrow who sings non-stop from a brushy clump in the field; we’ll have to keep an eye out for a nest in that area.  The Red-bellied Woodpeckers may have located a new nesting cavity near the entrance to BBBO, as they have been seen going in and out of a hole in the dead snag.  We’ll have to keep an eye on that one too!

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