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Late fall warblers and a flock of finches

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Monday November 3, 2014:  46 new birds of 13 species, 9 recaps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was American Goldfinch with 26 new bands.

Banding continues for a few more days at BBBO, as the weather continues to be mild and cooperative.  It’s sort of “hit-or-miss” at this time of year, as 23 of our new bands were captured in a single net on a single net run (21 goldfinches, 1 siskin, and 1 junco – all in net 15 at hour 1). Even without that flock, however, our day would still have been interesting.  We recaptured a Downy Woodpecker now in its third year, and we captured both a new Nashville and a new Myrtle Warbler.  Most interestingly, we captured two Ruby-crowned Kinglets . . . both of which had orange crowns.  We see this from time to time, but it was quite a coincidence that we captured two on the same day.  Whether this abnormality is diet related or the result of a genetic condition preventing the composition or deposition of certain carotenoids, I can’t say!

An "Orange-crowned" Kinglet

An “Orange-crowned” Kinglet

BBBO Bands its 200,000th Bird

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On July 22, BBBO banded its 200,000th bird – a gorgeous Cedar Waxwing!

A second-year male Cedar Waxwing becomes BBBO's 200,000th bird.

A second-year male Cedar Waxwing becomes BBBO’s 200,000th bird.

The BBBO staff were under a strict admonition to make certain the record-breaking bird was a good one, and we spent the morning trying to decide if we should rig the results by selectively choosing the order in which we banded birds to ensure that the 200,000th bird was the best of the bunch.  Ultimately, we decided to play it straight and ended up with a bird that is both beautiful and is representative of the birds we band in the summer.  He is a perfect bird to hold this title!

Signs of Salmonella in a Feeder Bird

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Friday June 7, 2013.  Kathy Hapgood discovered this obviously sick Pine Siskin yesterday at her feeder.

Sick Pine Siskin Photo by Kathy Habgood

Sick Pine Siskin
Photo by Kathy Habgood

Another view ... Photo by Kathy Habgood

Another view …
Photo by Kathy Habgood

Today she found it dead.  It is quite probable that the bird was infected with Salmonella.  Siskins are one of three species most often affected by this pathogen.  Wildlife officials’ advice is that if you find sick birds at your feeder, take the feeders down and disinfect them.   Use gloves to pick up the dead bird,  and wash your hands thoroughly.  You probably should just stop feeding the birds for awhile.  There is plenty of natural food available for them at this time of the year.

Thanks, Kathy, for sharing these photos.  Betsy Brooks