Monday October 26, 2015:  61 new birds of 14 species, 14 recaps.  Bird of the day was American Goldfinch with 21 new bands.  It was a feast-or-famine day at the nets today.  Some runs we’d come up empty or nearly so, while other runs we’d net 10 or 20 birds.  We saw flocks of finches flying hither and yon all morning, and small groups found our nets three times.

On one net run, the only bird we captured was a Tufted Titmouse.  They tend to be talkative, and this one was no different.  A flock of siskins was in the trees nearby, and it was fascinating to watch their behavior in response to the squawking titmouse.  Some of the birds flew closer to find the source of the commotion, and several actually came in close enough to brush the net.  They almost hovered – inches away from being caught – brushing the nets with their wingtips, and then backing off to perch again in the trees.

The neatest bird we caught today was a recapture.  Most of the birds we recapture have been banded earlier in the day or week.  We sometimes capture birds originally banded in other seasons, but they are almost exclusively local birds that live in the area or that breed here in the summer.  Today, we caught a bird that lives here in the winter!  The American Tree Sparrow below was originally banded on 22 Oct 2012 as a hatch year bird.  They breed far north of us, and so this bird has likely decided our site is a great place to spend the winter!

4 year old American Tree Sparrow.

4 year old American Tree Sparrow.