Monday, August 30, 2010

August 29 - Fall Migration Monitoring

Today was quite momentous for two things, one it was our busiest day yet with 175 birds caught, and two, one of our volunteers Nathan proposed to his partner Angie. The busyness of the morning kept us all on edge to find an appropriate moment. Luckily a Red-winged Blackbird was caught and Nathan had Angie band her favourite bird with a special 'band' he had made that asked the magic question. She said yes and took the band instead of the blackbird. Congratulations to Nathan and Angie!

On the bird front, things were busy on pretty much every net run and all around us. After helping get a dozen birds out of net 1 and 2 I wandered over to net 5 only to find everyone else already extracting the 20+ birds that were over there. At that point we split up and started banding to ensure that there would be enough bags to complete the net run. We had a few lulls of 5-10 birds, but usually had about 20 birds back at the station at any one time waiting to be processed. Luckily we had a crack team of extractors who were able to keep up with the onslaught of birds. Variety was not the spice of the day, but if you loved Yellow Warblers it was your day to be at the station as they composed about 120 of the 175 birds caught. Other noteworthy birds included a Rufous Hummingbird (we haven't had many lately), several Warbling Vireos and of course the Red-winged Blackbird. Migration is heading onwards at full-speed right now, who knows what the next while might bring.

Also of note was this Song Sparrow which had a long and narrow bill, I don't know if it represents an abnormal individual or subspecies I have not seen before. Any comments?

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