Monday August 28, 2017:  50 new birds of 14 species, 9 recaps.  New species: Black-throated Blue Warbler.  Bird of the day was Magnolia Warbler with 16 new bands.

You might think you know what the day has in store for you, but there’s a good chance you’ll be surprised.  And BOY, were we!

The morning started in a pretty ordinary way for this time of year . . . a few birds every run that slowed to a near stop around hour 3.  That’s not to say the birds weren’t interesting, there just weren’t many of them.  In fact, it got so slow that Andrea left the building and pursued her campaign against the invasive plants around the parking lot. Swallowwort, mugwort, multiflora rose, and the occasional aggressive black raspberry were mercilessly cut at ground level and either bagged to bake in the sun, or hauled out to the street.

Hour 4 went by . . . and then hour 5 and 5.5 . . . and as we were nearing hour 6, Andrea heard Chita call for help.  Nearly 25 birds had come in on the 5.5 hour run, and they all needed to be banded while at the same time the nets needed to be closed!  They were amazing birds, too.  Four Blackburnian Warblers, two Baltimore Orioles, a handful of Bay-breasted Warblers . . . and that is why you never close at hour 5!

Most of the birds were fairly straightforward, but we did get a stumper:


Believe it or not, this is a Yellow Warbler!  The species we commonly see in Rochester is called Setophaga petechia aestiva, but this bird appears to be something different.  Aestiva is a sunnier yellow and a richer green – even in the young females – than this bird.  The pale, washed out, grey quality of this bird distinguishes it from our common Yellow Warblers.  We aren’t sure what subspecies it is (there are several to choose from) . . . but if we figure it out, we’ll let you know!