44 Birds, 57 People

Comments Off on 44 Birds, 57 People

Sunday April 24, 2016:  44 new birds of 14 species, 26 recaps.  New species:  American Goldfinch.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 22 new bands.

The early morning was quiet with very little bird song, but about an hour after sunrise the Ruby-crowned Kinglets started singing and flitting about in the bushes.  Many seemed to be recaptures from previous days, so the unfavorable winds clearly served to keep them in place for another day or two.  Folks from the Bird-of-Prey Days visited again today, and we had 57 guests stop by the station.  Luckily, they filtered through so we weren’t ever overwhelmed!

BOP Days comes to BBBO

Comments Off on BOP Days comes to BBBO

Saturday April 23, 2016:  41 new birds of 11 species, 13 recaps.  New species:  Eastern Towhee.  Bird of the day is  Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 18 new bands.

Braddock Bay Raptor Research was hosting their annual Bird-of-Prey Days at the Braddock Bay Park Pavilion, and they sent dozens of people our way!  58 people visited the station today, including 9 students and 1 professor from Mansfield University in Pennsylvania.  We had just enough birds to show off to our guests without having to rush, and everyone seemed to enjoy the up-close-and-personal views of birds you usually only see from afar.



Two Blue Birds (but no bluebirds)

Comments Off on Two Blue Birds (but no bluebirds)

Friday April 22, 2016:  93 new birds of 18 species, 9 recaps.  New species:  Blue Jay, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Brown Thrasher, Western Palm Warbler.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 43 new bands.

It was steady throughout the first half of the morning, with no big rushes like we’ve seen the rest of the week.  We tallied our fourth warbler species of the season – the Western Palm Warbler, and we were grateful to catch two of the many Brown Thrashers that were singing from the trees as we opened.  The Eastern Towhees eluded us once again, but we were mollified by the first two blue birds of the season – a handsome older Blue Jay and a male Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

The weather may not be as cooperative the next several days, but sometimes bad weather brings good birds.  Stop by this weekend and check us out!

Warbler Species #3

Comments Off on Warbler Species #3

Thursday April 21, 2016:  151 new birds of 13 species, 22 recaps.  New species:  House Wren, Northern Waterthrush, Chipping Sparrow.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 77 new bands.

We might have had a little lull yesterday, but we were back in the saddle today!  Kinglets took over the station – between both Ruby and Golden-crowned, we handled 102 of the tiny birds today.  The numbers of White-throated Sparrows jumped up overnight, and we went from banding 0 or 1 to banding 23.  The white-morph below shows off his bright yellow lores and clean white supercilium . . .We forget how stunning they can be!


White-throated Sparrow

We also banded our third warbler species of the season – we captured a pair of Northern Waterthrush.

Mid-week Slowdown

Comments Off on Mid-week Slowdown

Wednesday April 20, 2016:  67 new birds of 10 species; 14 recaps.  New species:  Downy Woodpecker, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 30 new bands.

It was a little slower today, and our recap totals ticked up slightly.  By the end of the morning, most of the birds were recaptures – many of them banded earlier in the morning.  Mixed flocks of blackbirds in the swamp mostly stayed up high in the tree tops, but a stray male Brown-headed Cowbird and a female Red-winged Blackbird found their way into our nets.  Both were gorgeous, in very different ways . . . the Brown-headed Cowbird was sleek and shiny, while the Red-winged Blackbird was softly patterned in a subtle checkerboard design.


Female Red-winged Blackbird

Watch this space!

Comments Off on Watch this space!

This may look like an overgrown weed patch now, but watch this space!  By next fall, the area behind the banding lab will be transformed into an outdoor classroom and native garden thanks to a grant from the Genesee Finger Lakes chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association. We’re grateful and excited for this opportunity to bring banding back outside!


A cloud of kinglets in every tree

Comments Off on A cloud of kinglets in every tree

Tuesday April 19, 2016:  111 new birds of 13 species, 13 recaps.  New species:  Yellow-shafted Flicker and Pine Warbler.  Bird of the day was a near-tie between Golden-crowned Kinglet at 42 and Ruby-crowned Kinglet at 44.

We thought we had escaped the influx of early-morning kinglets today, because the first two net checks yielded only a dozen birds each (more or less).  One the 1.5 hour run, though, we got whomped with several dozen of the tiny birds, and we could tell that there were dozens more still in the trees.  After that first flush, things settled down and we were actually able to take snack breaks (during which we enjoyed the fantastic cheesecake and chocolate cake brought by Tom, and the Timbits brought by Ruth).

Highlights today included a Yell0w-shafted Flicker with some stunning coral and salmon colored feather shafts, and a brilliant yellow Pine Warbler.


Pine Warbler


Yellow-shafted Flicker with salmon-colored shafts

Warbler #1 and a Weird Junco

Comments Off on Warbler #1 and a Weird Junco

Monday April 18, 2016:  87 new birds of 11 species; 9 recaps.  New species:  Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warbler, Common Grackle.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet took over the title as bird of the day, with 35 new bands.


Second-year Male Myrtle Warbler

Normally, the first warbler of the season would be the lede story, but the handsome male Myrtle Warbler unfortunately had to play second fiddle to a much more unusual capture.  Midway through the morning, Marian noticed that the junco in her hand had strong white wing bars and white fringing on the uppertail coverts.  Almost all of the juncos in the Rochester area are of the Slate-colored subspecies of Dark-eyed Junco, but there is a related subspecies from the Black Hills area of the midwest known as the White-winged Junco.  For most of the morning, we were convinced our visitor was a vagrant White-winged Junco, but after doing some research we discovered that some Slate-colored Juncos can also apparently have white wing bars.  So which variety did we have?  The jury is still out, and the experts are weighing in!  For now, we’ve just recorded it as a Dark-eyed Junco.


Sunday Funday

Comments Off on Sunday Funday

Sunday April 17, 2016: 120 new birds of 15 species, 12 recaps.  New species:  Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Tree Sparrow.  Bird of the day was Golden-crowned Kinglet with 57 new bands.  Wow, what a day!  We were hit with 60 birds in the first hour, but we had a great crew that kept up with the rush of kinglets and creepers.  The pace slowed noticeably after the first couple hours, and we were able to enjoy the sunshine.  We’re off to a great start for the season!

We are (officially) open!

Comments Off on We are (officially) open!

Saturday April 16, 2016:  69 new birds of 13 species, 5 recaps.  New species:  Winter Wren, Field Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow.  Bird of the day was Golden-crowned Kinglet with 22 new bands.  We had another lovely morning at BBBO.  It was chilly at dawn, but once the sun popped up, the day was warm and inviting.  Most of our birds came early, but we had a fairly steady stream throughout the morning which kept us occupied.  No warblers yet, but it’s only a matter of time!

Older Entries