Cornell’s Spring Field Ornithology class visited BBBO on May 6-7.  As the weekend drew near, the forecast was looking grim with upwards of 80% chance of rain, high winds, and even possible snow.  While we weren’t able to be fully open during our normal 6-hour operating protocol, there were enough breaks in the weather that all the Cornell students got to see some fantastic birds in hand.  We were challenged as much by the soggy paths (some of which were ankle deep in water) as by the weather, but the class had been warned and came well prepared with muck boots in tow.

Saturday May 6:  26 new birds of 8 species, 11 recaps.  New species:  Ovenbird.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 16 new bands.  The weather was certainly dreary, and we waited a half hour to open in the morning.  We were able to stay open for 4 hours until increasing humidity forced us to close as the mist was beading up on the nets.  Three groups of students came through the station, and each group was treated to something special . . . the first Ovenbird of the season, a Black-throated Blue Warbler, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler were highlights.

Sunday May 7:  25 new birds of 9 species; 21 recaps.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 12 new bands.  Morning rain kept us closed for two hours, but we were texting the SFO trip leaders who decided to dawdle on the way up from Ithaca . . . a good choice as it turned out, as they had productive stops along the lakeshore before arriving at our station.  While they were here, the students saw Black-throated Blue, Western Palm, and Yellow-rumped Warblers as well as a couple of chatty Blue Jays.  We were excited to see Lisa Podulka (who was back from her first year of college) and her family leading one of the groups.  It’s great to catch up with our banding friends, but nothing makes us feel older than seeing our young banders turn into adults before our eyes!