Sunday April 19, 2015:  52 new bands of 11 species; 10 recaps.  New species:  Carolina Wren and American Goldfinch.  Bird of the day:  Black-capped Chickadee with 18 new bands.

Today looked just like yesterday – with sunny blue skies to start the morning – but it was COLD and it just never seemed to warm up very much.  Nevertheless, we had a pleasant morning taking turns banding (to warm our hands) and going on net-runs (to warm the rest of us).  Two teenagers joined our crew this morning.  Claire A is a high school student from Webster who took our teen banding camp last year, and Matthew L is a student from Greece Arcadia who is joining us for the first time.

The clear highlight of the day was a Black-capped Chickadee . . . or perhaps I should say a not-quite-Black-capped Chickadee!  While the chickadee pictured below had a normally colored body (including wings and tail), his head was missing black pigment in both the cap and bib.  In addition, his legs and feet were mottled pink and black.  This condition is called leucism, which is an abnormal lack of melanin (and perhaps other pigments) in feathers.  You can read more about it in the Summer 2014 issue of the Marsh Wren.

Partially leucistic Black-capped Chickadee.

Partially leucistic Black-capped Chickadee.