High Acres Nature Area (HANA) – June 26, 2015

With a crew of only three people, we had a busy day at HANA! We banded 29 birds of 9 different species. In addition we handled 13 recaptures. The fact that we are starting to see newly fledged birds, especially Yellow Warblers, made things even more interesting. Some of the young birds are barely recognizable. The day was also remarkable for the fact that we banded 6 unusually colored Song Sparrows (see photos). This led to a good discussion on sparrow identification!

Juvenile Song Sparrow.  Photo by Jim Saller.

Juvenile Song Sparrow. Young sparrows sometimes look quite different from adults, making summer banding a real challenge!  Their breast streaking can be very different, and there is often a buffy or yellowish color to the face.  Photo by Jim Saller.

David Mathiason deserves special thanks for walking the entire route and removing the birds from the nets all day. We estimated that he walked at least 10 miles! Jim Saller also deserves special thanks for scribing and for providing the attached photos.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak.  This is a great example of what banders look for in aging birds.  Notice the contrast between the black and brown feathers on the wings?  That's a molt limit!  The brown feathers are juvenile feathers the bird grew in the nest, and the black feathers are fresher feathers that come from a later molt.  An older adult bird would be uniformly black, which means this is a second-year bird.  Photo by Jim Saller

Rose-breasted Grosbeak. This is a great example of one thing banders look for when aging birds. Did you the contrast between the black and brown feathers on the wings? That’s a molt limit! The brown feathers are juvenile feathers that the bird grew in the nest, and the black feathers are fresher feathers that come from a later molt. An older adult bird would be uniformly black, which means this is a second-year bird. Photo by Jim Saller.

This handsome snake was evidently checking out the banding lab . . . he's welcome to hang out any time!  Photo by Jim Saller

This handsome garter snake was evidently checking out the banding lab . . . .Photo by Jim Saller

John Waud – Bander in Charge