Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Navarre Marsh Banding Update: October 6 - 12

Southerly winds resulted in a lot of Blackpoll Warblers (BLPW) sticking around this past week as well as a few other warbler species. A total of 17 species of warblers were seen this week including: Tennessee (TEWA), Orange-crowned (OCWA), Nashville (NAWA), Northern Parula (NOPA), Magnolia (MAWA), Cape May (CMWA), Black-throated Blue (BTBW), Myrtle (MYWA), Black-throated Green (BTNW), Bay-breasted (BBWA), Blackpoll, Black-and-white (BAWW), American Redstart (AMRE), Ovenbird (OVEN), Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), and a late Wilson's (WIWA). Hermit Thrushes (HETH), White-throated Sparrows (WTSP), and MYWAs began their descent upon the Marsh Region this past week. There were only a few Gray-cheeked and Swainson's compared to a week ago.

Some of the bird highlights this past week follow a theme of "Sharp or Pointed."

A female Cooper's Hawk made a return visit from the spring. She is very sharp in many ways, with her feisty behavior and her sharp talons including an exceptionally long halix or "hind claw."
COHA: Note the nice gray cap diagnostic of the species.

Talons of COHA
The hind toe, or "halix", is extra long for grasping and securing prey in the air
It is always a treat to have sparrows in the hand to admire their rich browns and tans. Below is a photo selection of the Nelson's Sparrow (NESP) we captured this week (only our 3rd in 25 years). This is an opportunity to share the beauty and fine features of this bird. This species was formerly known as the Sharp-tailed Sparrow but was separated from the Salt Marsh Sparrow. 
NESP: Gray cheek with gray nape

Characteristic "orangish" chest 

Gray nape shown better here.
NESP: Showing its "sharp tail"

 NESP: Showing tail with molt in left rectrices.

To continue on the theme of all things sharp and pointed...
YBSA: with sharp angular bill for pin-holing
Basswood and other trees for sap.

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker: HY male with red on throat.
YBSA: HY, sex unknown with no presence of red on throat.

This time of year is great to explore and sharpen your sparrow identification. Take time to enjoy the season!
Song Sparrow (SOSP) left and Fox Sparrow (FOSP) right

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