Sunday October 25, 2015: 41 new of 11 species, 20 recaps. Bird of the day was . . . a really good one, so keep reading!!!
This was just the weirdest day. It was gloomy and windy, and a cold front passed through just before sunrise. The first run we caught about 6 birds – all of them recaps. The second run we caught another 6 birds – two were new, the others recaps. Things didn’t change much over the next couple hours. . . except the number of birds we were capturing (both new and recaptured) actually declined. We joked that the Bird of the Day would be “Recap.”
Mid-morning, we had a little bit of excitement as we caught three different finch species. We thought the trio would make a neat comparison shot, but the birds had other ideas (the goldfinch was really fascinated with something behind him) so we took one quick shot and let them go.
American Goldfinch, Pine Siskin, and Purple Finch.
After this run, the Purple Finch was actually the Bird of the Day with five new bands. As the morning wore on, Golden-crowned Kinglet eventually caught up and they were tied at five birds each for a couple of hours.
At hour 5.5, we headed out expecting more of the same. Little did we know! When the netpickers met up, Barb commented that she had a new contestant for bird of the day. It was a common feeder bird for her when she was growing up, and it was one she had never banded. I had no idea what it could be (I didn’t know she grew up in Alaska!) . . . and never would I have guessed that she had 5 Common Redpolls! We banded them and released them, and figured that was the end of it. Our “bird of the day” would be a three-way tie.
A quintet of redpolls, all of different sexes and ages.
We were really excited, because our database only shows us banding 7 Common Redpolls – and it was back in 1999! Ryan believes others have been banded at the station, but it’s likely they would have been banded late in the season by Bob McKinney and hence not necessarily in the main BBBO database.
At hour 6.0, we headed out to close. We pulled a few leaves and a few birds out of nets, but there wasn’t anything to speak of until we got to net 70, which held about 20 birds – all of them siskins and redpolls! We ended the day with 14 Common Redpolls, and they are DEFINITELY the bird of the day!
You just never know what the fall will bring!