First Western Palm Warbler of the Season

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Friday April 21, 2017
It was a pretty slow day and the big numbers of chickadees that were in the area earlier this week, slowed way down to just a few, and all of them were retraps. We actually processed 33 retraps and only banded 19 new birds.
Bird of the day was Ruby Crowned Kinglet, with 15 new bands. Other new birds included Song Sparrow, Blue Gray Gnatcatcher, and BrownHeaded Cowbird. Our only new species for the day was a very pretty Western Palm Warbler.
                                                                Photo by Peggy Keller
Cindy Marino, BIC

The First Blue-headed Vireo of the Season!

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Our first Wednesday started off with a lot of feisty chickadees 🐥  but we
had a full house of Banders and Pickers. The ten of us brought them all in
to the banding lab safely. 
             Photo by Keller
The first net check brought in most of the 62 birds, and 24 were recaps. The 
winner at the nets were Chickadees with a count of 26. New for the season
was a Blue-headed Vireo. 
Ryan reported that the radar showed rains coming and they did. We were 
closed by 9:45. 62 birds in 3.5 hrs....

Peggy Keller, BIC

First Thrasher of the Season

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Monday April 17, 2017:  87 new birds were banded of which 59 were Black-capped Chickadees.  There were 44 recaps, and 11 species banded.  2 new species for the season list were added: Brown Thrasher and Fox Sparrow.

30 nets were up except #90 which is still under repair.  Trails were wet and somewhat muddy but nothing that a pair of old sneakers couldn’t handle. The marsh marigolds have spread to more than a dozen plants and are just beginning to bloom.

Two families came to visit, and one researcher from England worked with Andrea on a project measuring the tarsus of several species.

Marian Klik, BIC

Ugh . . . more chickadees

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Sunday April 16, 2017:  107 new birds of 14 species, 20 recaps.  New species:  Sharp-shinned Hawk, Tufted Titmouse, and Common Grackle.  Bird of the day was Black-capped Chickadee with 41 new bands, followed by Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 25 new bands.

The chickadee movement continues, as the marauding hoardes continue to move down the hedgerows and through the trees.  These chickadees are not (yet) local, as they were not here late last fall or through the winter, and instead seem to be birds that must have irrupted to parts south and are now circling the lake looking for tempting places to settle. It will be interesting to see if any remain.

Hundreds of raptors including Bald Eagles, Turkey Vultures, Sharp-shinned Hawks and Coopers Hawks filled the sky today.  Many were flying low, but only one found our nets – a third-year male sharpie.  Relatively tiny as far as raptors go, this little gent was much smaller than the three grackles we caught later in the day.  They always seem to look worried, but we actually think he’s just scanning for his next meal!


Opening day!

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Saturday April 15, 2017:  176 new birds of 17 species, 11 recaps.  11 new species:  Eastern Phoebe, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Winter Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Hermit Thrush, Yellow Palm Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow, White-throated Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 65 new bands, followed by Black-capped Chickadee with 49 new bands.

What an awesome opening day!  Four intrepid volunteers opened the nets and were delighted with a busy day full of kinglets and chickadees.   In contrast to yesterday, most of the kinglets today were Ruby- instead of Golden-crowned Kinglets.  Yesterday, we banded 24 GCKI and only 4 RCKI, but today the fortunes were reversed with another 24 GCKI but a whopping 65 RCKI.  All but one of the RCKI were males, indicating that there are still lots of Ruby-crowned yet to come.

Around hour 4, we were delighted (and surprised!) when Ryan showed up a week early.  He’ll unfortunately only be here for two weeks this spring, as he is needed back home to work on the farm.  Make sure to stop by early and say hi to our favorite research assistant!

Fired up and ready to go!

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Friday, April 14 2017:  It was set-up day yesterday at BBBO, and everything went smoothly.  Betsy, Andrea, Gayle, Peggy, Ann, Marilyn, Pat, Debi, Jim, Allen, Tom K, Tom and Jeanne V (and I think I forgot someone!) enjoyed the morning sunshine and each others’ company, and managed to get all the nets set up for the start of the spring season. A pole from net 90 blew down in the March windstorm, so that net is on hiatus pending an overhaul.  Otherwise, the station looks great and we are ready for the birds!

And none too soon . . . Maggie and Andrea decided to do a “soft open” one day before the official opening.  This morning, we banded 81 new birds of 11 species, and 11 recaps.  New species were Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Gray Catbird (!!!), Eastern Towhee, Field Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Slate-colored Junco, and Northern Cardinal.  The catbird was certainly the most surprising catch of the day, as we expect them more in May than in April.  Bird of the day was Black-capped Chickadee with 41 banded, followed by Golden-crowned Kinglet with 24 banded.  We have clearly missed the start of the GCKI migration, as most of the birds today were female.

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