Somehow we neglected our blog for an entire week!  For those of you that like to keep up with what’s happening at the station, here are our totals for the last week in April:

Monday April 25, 2016:  84 new bands of 15 species, 37 recaps. No new species.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 47 new bands.  Betsy and Ryan started their five weeks at BBBO today, and they were joined by our new Field Assistant, Erin.  Erin is from Clifton Park (just north of Albany).  She received her bachelor’s from Vassar, and her masters from Uppsala University in Sweden where she worked on the White-backed Woodpecker.  We’re excited to have her join us for the season!  Alison van Keuren also joined us for five days; he’s been coming every season for the past couple of years, and is turning out to be a very good bander.  His mentor in Albany (Bob Yunick) is a great bander, so we shouldn’t be surprised that Alison shows so much promise.  To top off the day, Kristi Hannam’s Animal Behavior class from SUNY Geneseo stopped up for the morning.  We were worried about the weather, but this time we got lucky and her students got to see a nice variety of early-spring migrants.  We recaptured a nifty Northern Cardinal today – the bird below was originally banded as a hatch-year bird on August 4, 2011 by Bob McKinney. He is now a 6th-year bird, and has likely been coming back to the area every year to breed.

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Sixth-year male Northern Cardinal

Tuesday April 26, 2016:  9 new birds of 4 species, 1 recap.  No new species.  Bird of the day was White-throated Sparrow.  Rain spoiled most of the banding this morning, as Betsy and Ryan were only able to open a few nets for a short time.  No kinglets (of either kind) being banded, but they were lucky enough to catch an Eastern Towhee.

Wednesday April 27, 2016:39 new birds of 12 species, 19 recaps. New species:  Common Yellowthroat.  Bird of the day was White-throated Sparrow with 16 new bands.  Andrea messed up today . . . she was supposed to be BIC since Peggy and Cindy are still in Spain, but it looks like she forgot!  Luckily, Betsy and Ryan were there to cover and all was well.  Later in the morning, we met with Bill Maier who will be bringing a church youth group to the station in a few weeks to help us with habitat maintenance.

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Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart.

Thursday April 28, 2016:  37 new birds of 8 species, 13 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 22 new bands.  We are getting tired of the endless winds from the north . . . it’s time for the birds to get moving!  This morning, Andrea went to teach a homeschool group of K-3rd graders all about migration and to prepare them for their visit to the station next week.  This evening, many BBBO folks went to see The Messenger, a film about the effects that human activity has on birds . . . and about the consequences for the larger ecosystem (including humans).  It’s a sobering film, but we are reminded that just as our actions can harm, they can also help.

Friday April 29, 2016:  23 new birds of 12 species, 28 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was White-throated Sparrow with 6 new bands.  Our field assistant, Erin, started banding today.  Her first bird was awkward – almost every bander goes through an awkward phase! – but by the third or fourth she was clearly comfortable putting the bands on and taking the measurements.

We had a neat comparison this week of a Winter Wren (left) and a House Wren (right).  Notice the obvious size difference, but also the difference in tail length and in color.

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Winter Wren and House Wren

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Winter Wren and House Wren

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Winter Wren and House Wren