BBBO goes global

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Wednesday April 21, 2021: We were technically closed for the day, thanks to several inches of sloshy snow that fell overnight and through the morning. It was a cruel disappointment, because we had been invited to be part of a Livestream event hosted by Swarovski Optik . . . but with the weather unfavorable for normal banding, in true BBBO fashion we made the best of a bad situation.

In 2020, Swarovski decided to start a series of livestream events broadcast on facebook. These events followed birders into the field, and showed the birds they were seeing through digiscoped images or via feeder cams. The series continued in 2021 with five episodes, the fifth of which was to feature North America. Several sites were selected, including:

Ash Canyon Sanctuary (Hereford, AZ)
Black Swamp Bird Observatory (Oak Harbor, OH)
Braddock Bay Bird Observatory (Rochester, NY)
Braddock Bay Raptor Reserach (Rochester, NY)
Central Park (NYC, NY)
Central Valley Refuge Areas (CA)
Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory (Duluth, MN)
High Island Sanctuary / Smith Oaks Skywalk (High Island, TX)
San Diego Audubon Society (San Diego, CA)
South Padre Island Nature Center (South Padre Island, TX)

We and Black Swamp Bird Observatory were going to be the first locations in the series to feature banding, and we were beyond excited to be invited! Emily Patterson drove in from New Hampshire to do the actual banding, and we invited young birder Robert Buckert to help with the color commentary.

But when it became clear that the weather would be a complete disaster, we launched plan B. We put up nets in the “backyard” of the banding station, and borrowed 5 potter traps from Chris Normant, a professor at SUNY Brockport. On the morning of the broadcast, we opened the backyard nets and set the traps, and checked them every 3-5 minutes to ensure that no bird would be caught for long in the snowy conditions. We ended up catching one new White-breasted Nuthatch one new Black-capped Chickadee, and 27 recap chickadees. We were able to show off our birds and talk a little about chickadee irruptions, and we were able to chat with the hosts of some of the other sites about the birds they were seeing. It wasn’t our vision, but it was still pretty cool!

You can view a recording of the livestream through the Swarovski Facebook page, or through their YouTube channel.

–Andrea Patterson

A couple of early birds . . .

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Tuesday April 20, 2021. 81 new birds of 7 species; 47 recaps. New species: Slate-colored Junco and Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle form). We have banded a total of 12 species this spring, 2 of which are warblers. Bird of the day was Black-capped Chickadee with 52 new bands, followed by Myrtle Warbler with 11 new bands.

It wasn’t the most beaufiful of days on the lake shore, with broken clouds and chilly temperatures, but it was a good day for people and birds! Emily was back for the day, refreshing her migration skills in preparation for a big event tomorrow, and we were joined by experienced volunteers Gayle, Nancy, and Carolyn, and by new scribe Jennifer. Jennifer is a student at SUNY Brockport, and she is working on two research projects – one on Eastern Bluebirds and one on Peregrine Falcolns. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the crew!

Chickadees dominate AGAIN . . . but we were so excited to see our first Myrtle Warblers of the season. Myrtles have a pre-alternate molt that fancies them up for the breeding season, but interestingly some of the birds we saw today are still in the process of finishing that molt. Most of the warblers we see that have an alternate plumage, have finished their spring primping before they step foot in Monroe County, but Myrtles are early-season warblers and it perhaps isn’t surprising that they finish their molt en route. When you add in the natural variability in the appearance of these birds, aging and sexing them can be a bit of a challenge. Both of the birds above are seccond year (i.e. they hatched in 2020) and both are male, but notice how different they look, with the bird on the left being much paler and browner overall.

Thanks to everyone for their help today!

–Andrea Patterson

Hour 4

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Friday October 25 a great day. 123 new birds of 10 species and 15 recaps. The net pickers were bringing a steady amount of birds in and then HOUR 4 !!!! They came in with 52 birds.  The day count for Slate-colored Juncos was 53. GCKIs and RCKIs equalled 45 and we had 12 Brown Creepers. A great Friday.IMG_3439 Golden-crowned Kinglet761DA1B3-5650-408A-81F8-7748C9F2261C_1_201_aIMG_3049

Wind and Leaves

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October 23, 2019 started out with a bit of a wind but by hour 5 the wind and leaves shut us down. for the safty of the birds we started closing the nets.

We did end up with 15 new birds of 4 species and 12 recaps.

Thank you all for the leave challenge.D4927269-2DDB-4DB1-96D9-5C50D2394ADB_1_201_a.jpeg

YEA ! 145

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Today was a great day. We had 145 new species and 45 recaps.  There were 15 different species. Ruby-crowned Kinglet 62, Golden-crowned Kinglet 28, and 17 Hermit Thrush. There were also 10 Juncos. The station got pretty busy when 4 volunteers from Appledore banding station showed up. We had wind and fall leaves but went home happy.fullsizeoutput_514b


Eastern Phoebe

Few Birds but Sunny

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Total new 39 birds and 17 recaps. We had 10 species. A nice Field Sparrow, a Swamp Sparrow, a nice Carolina Wren and more White-throated Sparrows. Another sunny day though cool but when the sun is out there is no complaining in Rochester.fullsizeoutput_5143fullsizeoutput_511d

Eastern Towhee !

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We had a total of 51 new birds representing 13 different species and then another 11 recaps. Another day of lots of White-throated Sparrows. Thanks to the Wednesday crew and grateful for the sun.fullsizeoutput_50a9fullsizeoutput_50a6

Yea! North Winds

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Friday October 4 – 94 new species. 19 different species and 26 recaps. Ruby-crowned Kinglet wins with a total of 30 and White-throated Sparrow was close with 26 birds. We had a good variety of species with an Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-throated green Warbler and a Northern Parula. Somewhat on the chilly side but my staff was prepared and Cindy and I thank you.fullsizeoutput_504efullsizeoutput_5054lWpMOrWtTjqq1LhbrGbXZAfullsizeoutput_505f

Friday 5/31 Our Last Official Day

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May 31 and still in jackets. Our total today was 49 new birds  of 21 species. We had 34 recaptured birds.

Thanks to all volunteers who mucked Wednesdays and Fridays with their tall boots and coats all season waiting for dry and warm weather, maybe in the fall !!!

We did have some really good looking birds to end the season.IMG_1885 Yellow Warbler ASY-M 3boIMG_1940 AMRE ASY M 3boIMG_1923 Baltimore Oriole ASY-M 3bo

Wednesday 29- Still Lots of Mud

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Wednesday May 29, 2019
44 new bands
37 recaps
21 species

Traill’s Flycatcher was our most numerous species, with 13 banded. Swainson’s Thrush and Ruby-throated Hummingbird we’re tied for second place, with 5 each banded. We also banded seven different species of Warblers: two each of Magnolia, American Redstart, Wilson’s, Common Yellowthroat, Mourning and Yellow Warblers. We had a visiter banded in 6/10/15.  Andrea banded it as a SY bird. This makes this Cat Bird 6 yrs. old.

We always enjoy observing other creatures as we make our rounds to the nets. Today we spotted our first Monarch Butterfly of the season and Leopard frogs were singing their guttural “songs” despite the damp and chilly weather conditions.

Many thanks to all our volunteers for their continued efforts during this extremely wet and muddy Spring season, which is rapidly coming to a close at the end of this week!

Cindy Marino BICIMG_5045 Catbird 3boIMG_9227 Mourning Warbler-SY-F 3bo

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