Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Filter migration occuring under high pressure system

For a day in May, it was very warm today. The bird activity was short lived today with the warm temperatures. Who would want to move around too much in this heat? The Navarre banding station had ninety-five new banded birds and 16 recaptures.

At BSBO, we had Woodmore elementary school make a visit and Education Director Ken Keffer and Executive Director Kim Kaufman enlightened the 2nd graders on how great the marsh region is for migratory birds. In the background an Acadian Flycatcher was trying to help us select our lunch menu. He kept saying "Piizzza!" It is flycatcher migration time, so all the Empidonax flycatchers are busy confusing most people with their wing bars, bi-colored beak, and eye rings; unless they sing of course!

Here is a Yellow-bellied and an Acadian Flycatcher:

Note the Yellow-bellied has a very rounded head, bright yellow eye ring, and a dark yellowish green belly. The Acadian has an elongated flatter head (not round), pale lower mandible compared to the other Empidonax's, pale belly, and a light yellow eyering. Probably in the trees the eye ring would not look yellow because it is so pale.

Top 7 species:
Traill's Flycatcher (TRFL)- 13
Swainson's Thrush (SWTH)- 10
Red-eyed Vireo (REVI)- 10
American Redstart (AMRE)- 9
Magnolia Warbler (MAWA)- 8
Gray Catbird (GRCA)- 8
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (YBFL)- 7

Thirteen species of warbler were heard or seen on the station today including:
Tennessee, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Prothonotary, Ovenbird, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat, Wilson's, Canada, and Yellow-breasted Chat.

A highlight of yesterday was this Eastern Screech Owl (EASO). It was banded here last June as an adult. They nest around the banding station and this one appears to hang out in the same area because we caught in the same group of nets. Don't ask me how I remember but you don't catch an EASO everyday so I am guessing that is why I remember. It was pretty cool to see and volunteer Jeanine thought so too!
An interesting thing about owls is that the leading edge of their flight feathers lack barbules to zip the feathers together or hold them together. This allows them to fly silently through the air.

Enjoy the week of flycatchers and vireos!

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