Saturday August 19, 2017:  16 new birds of 10 species, 7 recaps.  New species:  Warbling Vireo, Tufted Titmouse, American Robin, and Hooded Warbler.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 5 new bands.

It was a relatively slow day, but nice variety kept the morning interesting.  Two fledgling titmice brightened the morning, and a young Baltimore Oriole was a welcome catch after hearing them toodle all morning.

We’ve been mentioning molt as one reason we’re in a quiet part of the season.  This American Robin is molting his greater coverts, tertials, and some primaries and primary coverts.  If you look at the end of the finger in the photo, you can see a feather in its keratin sheath, which protects the feather as it is developing.  Eventually the sheath will flake off, leaving the newly grown feather behind.  You can also see the striking contrast between the faded and worn feathers from last summer, and the dark fresh feathers from this year.

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