Saturday May 13, 2017.  136 new birds of 25 species; 10 recaps.  New species:  Wilson’s Warbler.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet (!!!) with 47 new bands.

It wasn’t the sunniest day, and it was perhaps a bit on the cool side.  There was the lightest sprinkle of rain near the end of the morning, and the trails are still just this side of soggy.  But, as our friend Eala said . . . this was the best day ever!

Well, maybe not EVER, but it was a pretty perfect day.  The birds were plentiful and varied, with 12 species of warblers in addition to a handful of sparrows and thrushes (plus the much loved Blue-headed Vireo and Red-breasted Nuthatch).  A late junco put in an appearance, and the early Least Flycatchers are starting to trickle in.  Our research projects were in full swing . . . Dr. Sue Pagano sampled sparrows and thrushes for her nutritional physiology work, masters student Amanda Hill looked for ticks on some of our ground dwelling birds, and Andrea both collected tail feathers for Dr. Kristen Covino’s migratory connectivity study and looked at the extent of the pre-formative molt in a half-dozen species for a collaborative project of her own.

So what made the morning shine?  It was just an easy day!  The birds were steady enough to keep us busy, but we still had plenty of time to really study them closely.  We were able to compare birds of different ages and sexes and talk about our conclusions.  There were no tricky birds in the nets, and the net runs were pleasant as we were treated to birdsong all morning long.  We recaptured a Yellow Warbler in its 7th year, and to top it off, we received word that an Ovenbird we recaptured last spring had originally been banded in North Carolina the fall before!