Saturday, May 23, 2009

Large midge hatch overnight

Another lake wind produced lower numbers of birds but despite this fact it was an enjoyable day to take time to appreciate and observe the birds. A large midge hatch occurred overnight so there is plenty of food for these birds to fatten up on. Not only did we have birds to look at, we had a mammal visitor. It is is cute when it is little, but not so good around mist nets when it gets older. This fawn stayed along the trail for 2 net checks and then moved about 15 feet away from the trail for the remainder of the time we were running the station.

Ninety-nine new birds and 36 recaptures were netted today. We broke the spring Yellow Warbler spring record of 520 birds. We are now up to 522 new Yellow Warblers banded for this spring. Once again we are not trying to break any records but this still demonstrates the volume we have been getting all spring.

Top 6 species:
Magnolia Warbler – 15
Traill’s Flycatcher – 9
Common Yellowthroat – 8
American Redstart – 7
Blackpoll Warbler – 7
Gray Catbird – 7

Take a look at this unusual Gray Catbird. It did not have enough gray pigment when it was molting in its one primary feather and several secondary feathers. There are more unusual looking versions of birds we recognize than meets the eye.

Tomorrow is to be another lake wind so not much is expected to change in bird numbers. One last south wind should push in the last of the songbirds.

These have been beautiful days to get out and watch bird behavior. You never know what you might discover!

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