Sunday Sept 6, 2015:  20 new birds of 11 species; 8 recaps.  New species:  Connecticut Warbler.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 4 new bands.  Ugh . . . it was really slow again!  Dr. Sue stopped in hoping we’d catch some thrushes, but we were skunked.  I was hoping to get a few older birds to take pictures of tails, but we were skunked there too.  Luckily, a couple of the birds we did catch today were really interesting.

The first bird that was a bit of a stumper turned out to be a Connecticut Warbler.  We don’t catch many, and we are much more likely to catch a Mourning Warbler which closely resembles Connecticut in the fall.  We did some measurements to ensure that we had the correct species, banded it, and released it.

Hatch year Connecticut Warbler

Hatch year Connecticut Warbler

The second bird that threw us for a loop was a flycatcher.  Its overall look and long wing immediately had us thinking Eastern Wood-pewee, but its lower mandible was almost entirely black instead of bright orange!  That’s a characteristic of an Eastern Phoebe, so we did some measurements to demonstrate we actually had a Pewee.  Then, we went a step further and carefully ruled out a Western Wood-pewee . . . which DO have black lower mandibles.  It would have been an extremely unlikely capture, but sometimes you do get a stray!  Today, as it turned out, we just had a funny colored bird.

Eastern Wood-pewee

Eastern Wood-pewee

Lower mandible of an Eastern Wood-pewee.  It is normally orange, but this one was almost entirely black.

Lower mandible of an Eastern Wood-pewee. It is normally orange, but this one was almost entirely black.