Gloomy Weather + Few Birds = Bored Banders

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Sunday August 30, 2015:  16 new birds of 12 species; 10 recaps.  Bird of the day was Magnolia Warbler with 5 new bands.  There was no other species with more than one new bird banded.  The clouds hung low and the air never stirred.  It was quiet and humid, and felt sort of oppressive.  Perhaps the birds felt it too, as there was little chatter and even less movement.  With the exception of the excited Pileated Woodpecker(s) overhead and a small flock of swallows early on, we saw few birds in the area.  Our nets were similarly empty, so we just concentrated on enjoying the handful of birds we had.

A whole lotta nuthin’ . . . . then Blackpolls!

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Saturday August 29, 2015:  43 new birds of 17 species, 13 recaps.  New species:  Blackpoll Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 7 new bands, followed by Magnolia Warbler with 6 and Eastern Wood-pewee with 5.  We had a great run to start the day, but after about an hour we hit dullsville!  We got one or two birds each run, so Jenna ran the station while Andrea tightened nets and trimmed low-hanging branches.  Near the end of the day, a small group of birders stopped by.  Unfortunately, we were only able to show them a single catbird.  We closed on the next run . . . and got about 15 birds.  Among them were three Blackpoll Warblers and two Bay-breasted Warblers – the first of the fall season.

Wednesday, August 28

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August 28, 2015  52 new bands and 11 recaps. 

The banding crew had to work hard with some of the puzzling fall birds!  We had birds in almost every run!

Peggy Keller, BIC

Adult male Baltimore Oriole Photo by Peggy Keller

Adult male Baltimore Oriole


HY Hooded Warbler

Photos by Peggy Keller


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Thursday August 27, 2015:  24 birds of 13 species; 12 recaps.  New species:  Wilson’s Warbler.  Birds of the day were Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Least Flycather, American Redstart, and Magnolia Warbler each with 3 new bands.  The first run of the day was pretty exciting with 8 birds brought in, but occasional sprinkles dampened activity for the next few hours.  We ended the day with 8 species of warbler, though, so no one was complaining.  The first Wilson’s Warbler of the fall was nice to see, but it’s more fun when Ryan is here to call out Wiiiiiilllll-sonnnnnnnn!  So . . . we did it for him!



Wednesday August 26, 2015.  We had a pretty slow day, but at least the weather was not hot!  We banded 17 new birds, of which Magnolia was the numerous with five being banded.  Seven other warbler species were banded, including one Northern Parula, which was new for the season.

Non-warbler species included three Gray Catbirds, one House Wren and one Wood Thrush.

We had 10 recaptures and two hummers were released unbanded.

Cindy Marino – BIC

Two Bander Training Students Start the Season

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Tuesday August 25, 2015:  10 new birds of 5 species; 9 recaps.  There was a five-way tie for bird of the day.  Traill’s Flycatcher, Black-capped Chickadee, Gray Catbird, Northern Waterthush and Common Yellowthroat all clocked in at two birds each.  Today, we had two students join us.  Julia took the Bander Training Class last spring, and will be coming out to volunteer each Tuesday.  She processed all the birds, and her measurements were spot on.  She learned how to skull birds (since that’s the most reliable way to age them in the fall), and did very well.  Our other student comes to us from Hobart and William Smith Colleges.  Joe will be taking an independent study course, part of which involves banding at our station and taking the bander’s training course.  He learned some basic bird handling skills this morning, and then started net-picking.  It’s hard to learn when there are so few birds, but I guess we don’t get to tell the birds when to migrate!

At least we get our exercise . . .

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Monday August 24, 2015

We had an incredibly slow day at the banding station today.  The weather held up for us to get in 6 hours of banding.

There were only ten new birds, one of which was a young male Ruby-throated Hummingbird.   One Northern Waterthrush and one Magnolia Warbler were the only true migrants – the rest were local birds, so major migration has not started.

There were ten recaptures. some of them recaptured several times.

It was good to have the help of Andrea, as Maggie had to leave for work early.

Marian Klik – BIC

One day you’re up . . . The next day you’re down . . .

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Sunday August 23, 2015:   16 new birds of 11 species; 7 recaps.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 4 new bands.  It was another slow (but beautiful) day at BBBO.  Since we didn’t have many birds to admire in the hand, we spent time looking at the occasional flock of swallows eating mosquitos and midges, all the gorgeous Orb Weaver spiderwebs in the field, and the stunning blue sky.  We were also delighted with a visit from an inquisitive and bright young lady who asked us GREAT questions about birds and banding.  We hope she’ll come back again!

Things are Looking Up!

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Saturday August 22, 2015:  39 new birds of 16 species. 7 recaps.  New species:  Cape May Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler.  Bird of the day was Magnolia Warbler with 11 new bands, followed by Yellow-bellied Flycatcher with 5.  There must have been a small migratory movement overnight, because today was radically different from the preceding 4 or 5.  Not only did we have birds, we had birds of many different species!  We banded three species of flycatcher and nine species of warbler.  It was perhaps telling that there were no new Yellow Warblers in the bunch – they have mostly moved on. We are surely in for some more dull days this August, but days like this keep it interesting!

Friday August 21

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Friday August 21, 2015:  13 new birds of 9 species, 10 recaps. New species:  Canada Warbler.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 3 new bands.

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