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Warbler #1 and a Weird Junco

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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.

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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.

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Sunday Funday

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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!

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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!

We couldn’t help it . . .

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Friday April 15, 2016:  49 new birds of 12 species; 5 recaps.  Bird of the day was Golden-crowned Kinglet with 15 new bands.  New species:  Eastern Phoebe, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Slate-colored Junco, Northern Cardinal.

Well, we weren’t scheduled to open until Saturday, but we just couldn’t help it!  The weather was so beautiful that a small crew decided to open a day early, and we’re glad we did.

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Brown Creeper

Set-up Day a Success

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April 14, 2016:  Several intrepid volunteers (both new and experienced) braved a chilly morning to set up the station for our spring season.  Only a few nets had been put up for the owl season, so we had quite a lot to do.  The team pulled together, and had everything ready to go in a matter of hours.  Now all we have to do is wait until morning!

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