Saturday April 30, 2016:  23 new birds of 11 species, 28 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 8 new bands.  Every spring, Cornell’s Spring Field Ornithology class comes to BBBO.  David Bonter, from the Lab of Ornithology comes to run the station, and he brings students with him to practice their banding skills.  Today, students James, Facundo, and Emily joined us to do all of the banding.  There weren’t as many birds as we had hoped, but everyone got to practice a bit.  We all had fun quizzing the adults in the SFO class, and everyone got to see several species of birds in the hand.  It was a treat to have the Podulka family back leading one of the SFO groups – Lisa will be starting college this fall, so we may not see her again next year!

We were confused by an interesting American Robin today.  The plumage was pale and definitely seemed to indicate a female, but the wing chord was well into the “male” range.  Worse . . . it seemed to have the start of a brood patch with some lost feathers and beginning vascularization AND the start of a cloacal protuberance!  So was it a boy or a girl?  Normally, we’d never know . . . but thanks to our young scientists-in-training from Cornell, we took a small blood sample which will be tested later this week.

Saturday also saw BBBO participating in the “Spring into Nature” festival at Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge.  Pat Lovallo and John Boettcher spent the morning teaching kids (and adults) about migration, and then Andrea joined them later in the afternoon to try a banding demonstration.  She was skunked (which wasn’t a big surprise), but all had fun anyway.


Pat at the BBBO booth