Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Songbird diversity is still in the marsh region

The bird diversity was here in celebration of Lester Peyton’s birthday. Lester was visiting from the warm south Cincinnati area. Happy Birthday Lester!

It was a cool morning in the marsh. These are signs of colder days I am afraid. With the colder weather comes other great birds, so I will look forward to that. The highlights for the day should tell you what a day it was! These include a Scarlet Tanager, Yellow-throated Vireo, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, and another Connecticut Warbler. Take a look at this bird! A beautiful sight! A nice hooked bill to attack a few caterpillars!

One hundred sixty birds new banded and a bazillion recaptures—only 88, but who is counting! I guess the birds like it here. Most of the recaptures were Blackpoll Warblers and thrushes. Since the birds have been low on fat reserves it makes sense to stay around a while to fatten up before leaving. If the food is good why leave?

Eighteen species of warbler were seen today including Tennessee, Nashville, quiz bird, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian!, Western Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-and-White, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Connecticut, and Common Yellowthroat. This is not a bad day! Just in case you did not believe that we caught another Connecticut Warbler... This is a picture taken today!

The Scarlet Tanager was an adult male. See its black wings? They are all black including the primary coverts. No brown primary coverts like a hatching year bird would have.

Another highlight was this quiz bird: See its diagnostic green triangle on its back. For those of you that are color blind, you should still see the triangle on its back.

Beach top species:
Blackpoll Warbler-17
American Redstart-2

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler-41
Swainson’s Thrush-16
Gray-cheeked Thrush-12
American Redstart-7
Black-throated Blue Warbler-7
Ovenbird-6---plus a couple very fat Ovenbirds recaptured!
Here is the lateral view of the quiz bird does this help?!

I call this bird the butterfly of the bird world because of all of its colors. It is an adult male and boy will he look sharp come spring time! This is a Northern Parula. Did you know they had a two colored beak? Hmmm...

Tomorrow should be good so I hope you can get outside to rack up the fall warbler species! There were some Rose-breasted Grosbeaks around but we did not get to see them up close and personal today. They are still nice to see and know they are here.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fall birds are still in good numbers

Things are looking up! I hope all of you do not think that the interesting birds are already south. You may be surprised! One hundred and thirty-two new birds were banded with 47 recaptures. Yes, the Blackpoll Warblers did not move much in this wind!

Twelve species of warbler were observed including Nashville, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Western Palm, Blackpoll, Black-and-white, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, and the quiz bird.

Highlights were several nice looking Cape May Warblers and a couple Eastern Wood Pewees,
one of which is the banded one that is still hanging around.

Beach top species:
Blackpoll Warbler- 10
Cape May Warbler-6
Eastern Phoebe-2

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler-43
Swainson’s Thrush-16
Cape May Warbler-8
Gray-cheeked Thrush-5

The quiz bird is a tough one. I hope you could see the split eye ring and the larger warbler bill. Does that help?! How about a Mourning Warbler?! That is what it is-I hope you ID’d it correctly! The next several days should be good so get on out and enjoy the fall weather.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Strong WSW winds do not deter the warbler diversity!

Too windy for a lot of things today but there were still birds around if you could get outside. What do you think about 16 species of warbler?! These warblers include: Tennessee, Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Cape May, Black-throated Blue, Myrtle, Black-throated Green, Western Palm, Bay-breasted, Blackpoll, Black-and-White, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, and Common Yellowthroat. One hundred eighteen new banded birds and 15 recaptures. The wind hurt the efficiency of the nets today but still produced some nice birds for the day. Highlights include Chestnut-sided Warbler and this warbler which is first for us this fall season.

We still have not seen any Hermit Thrushes. However, they have them up north so they are on their way. The bird above is a Western Palm Warbler so memorize it because someday it will be a quiz bird!

Beach top species:
Blackpoll Warbler -5
Gray-cheeked Thrush -2

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler -41
American Redstart -12
Swainson’s Thrush -10
Cape May Warbler -9
Nashville Warbler -5
Bay-breasted Warbler 3
Ovenbird -3
Gray-cheeked Thrush -3

A quiz bird for you to ponder:

And this bird is for your Tracy! Everyone likes the fall plumage of a Chestnut-sided Warbler!

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a continued strong westerly wind. Hopefully it dies down some but I do not have hope for that. The rest of the week looks like good winds for more migrants to appear.

P.S. the quiz bird is a Bay-breasted Warbler. Note the gray legs and feet and yellowish cast to the head and back. To me it looks more of a lemony color than a lime color like the Blackpoll Warbler would have. Blackpolls would have dark legs and yellow pads to their feet with the gray streaks on their flanks. Whatever works for you to ID the fall confusing warblers, use it!

And just because I like this bird! This is the first adult male American Redstart for the season. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Night Flights were tremendous!

If any of you were up before sunrise today I am sure you heard all the commotion! Thrushes burping and songbirds chipping as they flew over. I was wondering where they had been and where they were going to stop for the day.

Today was our highest catch of the fall 144 new banded birds and 25 recaptures. One of the recaptures was an Ovenbird who has been here for a couple weeks. I think it is liking it here. It is increasing its girth. It is now up to a 5 fat class on a 0-6 fat scale. Someday it may be too fat to fly. I doubt it; but sometimes I wonder how a really fat bird can fly! The fat or energetic condition of most of the birds captured this fall has been extremely lean as compared to other fall seasons. We have been getting lots of zero to maybe a two fat class on birds when we should be getting 3-6's. Hopefully that is turning around. These birds have a long way to go and to cross the Gulf of Mexico, they will need some fat.

Highlights of the day were a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and some nice looking Cape May Warblers. I guess the Magee Wildlife Area Boardwalk had lots of Cape Mays as well.

Beach top specie:
Blackpoll Warbler -4

Main Inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler - 67
Swainson's Thrush- 13
Gray-cheeked Thrush -11
White-throated Sparrow- 7
Winter Wren-5
Cape May Warbler- 4

Blackpoll Warbler on left with yellow pads to its feet and Bay-breasted Warbler with its gray legs and feet. Note the Blackpoll has fine gray streaks on its flanks unlike the Bay-breasted Warbler. That is the key for me to tell them apart in the fall. Use whatever field mark works for you. It may be something totally different.
Winds are to be strong out of the west for the next couple days with a good chance of rain. Raingear will be needed. Have a good day!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today is the day for Diversity!

As I have said before, a day I am not at the banding station is one of the best dayssss… Oh well, here it is Saturday and I was at the Observatory's Diversity Conference and Mark is at the banding station getting bird diversity! One hundred twenty-seven new banded birds including 29 recaptures. Thirty-five species captured with these highlights for the day: Hairy Woodpecker, Kentucky Warbler, Red-breasted Nuthatch, four species of vireos, and a Lincoln Sparrow. What a day! This is the second fall season for us to catch a Kentucky Warbler. A nice male don’t you agree?!
Beach top species:
Blue-headed Vireo -9
Nashville Warbler – 6
Swainson’s Thrush – 5
Gray Catbird -5
Blackpoll Warbler -4
Main Inside top species:
Swainson's Thrush -15
Gray-cheeked Thrush -14
Blackpoll Warbler -10
Winter Wren - 7
Common Yellowthroat -5
House Wren -5

How about a quiz bird from the back?
What about this for a foursome! There are two vireos with wingbars and two without. Can you name them? There is the accented yellow spectacle on the White-eyed Vireo. Because it is a hatching year bird with dark eyes, the yellow stands out more. It is such a beautiful sight to see the vibrant yellow on the Philadelphia Vireo’s throat and breast. To catch nine Blue-headed Vireos is a prize for the day. The Red-eyed Vireo is also a hatching year bird with a dark eye.

And here is the front view. I am sure you all figured it out! It is a Black-capped Chickadee. It lacks the whiter tertial feathers (possess less gray than the Black-capped) of the Carolina Chickadee. Tomorrow may be a good day too! I am hoping!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Blackpoll Warblers are coming!

Another crazy day for birds in Navarre I am told. Mark said that once again the Blackpolls hit the nets around the 1030-1100 again today. The winds were westerly which were not a hindrance to us capturing birds as an easterly wind would be. Thrushes were almost nonexistent. Yesterday we had around 30 thrushes and today nine graced us with their presence. Highlight for the day, in my opinion since I was not at the banding station today, was an Eastern Wood Pewee. It is getting late for the little flycatchers other than an Eastern Phoebe to be around.

Seven warbler species were seen or captured today including Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat.

Top Beach species:
Blackpoll Warbler -10
Common Yellowthroat -2

Top Main Inside species:
Blackpoll Warbler -38
Swainson’s Thrush – 6
Magnolia Warbler -3
Bay-breasted Warbler -3

It looks like the best time to go birding is right before lunch. It seems like a very odd time of day but at least that is what has happened the past couple days. The winds are to go NW tonight so tomorrow should be a good day for migrants. I have my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A drop out of warblers!!

I guess you can pretty much count on a nice day when I am away. I was talking to 4th graders all day about wetlands and birds while Mark ran the banding station. It would figure that he had a good day! Good for him.

Mark said there was a fallout of birds during the morning. At the 1030 net check, one of the back nets had 17 warblers in it to help add to the 100 total new birds for today. Apparently there was a flurry of warblers at the Observatory water feature around the same time, as reported by Kim Kaufman. There must have been something going on! Mark also said while conducting the point count survey this morning he had two Red-headed Woodpeckers fly over and a small flock of Rose-breasted Grosbeaks (8) flyover as well. Who knows what was going on in a light southerly wind. Maybe the birds just want to get south regardless of the winds. Maybe fall migration is just starting because the catch of the day was mostly adult Blackpoll Warblers leading us to believe the hatching year birds are still on their way. Or so I hope! We shall see what transpires.
Here is a nice adult Blackpoll Warbler male. See the nice black streaks on its throat?

Notice the dark black streaks on its upper tail coverts which is a characterstic of male Blackpolls and the adult shaped rectrices-nice and rounded -not pointed like a hatching year bird would be.

Highlights for the day were the grosbeaks and the Red-headed Woodpecker flyovers. Banding highlight includes a nice adult male Cape May Warbler. He is not bad looking for a fall plumaged warbler in my opinion. He has large white wing bars and a pretty well defined facial markings.

Since they had a good day I will split up the beach nets (5) from the main inside nets (23).
Beach top species:
Gray Catbird – 6
Blackpoll Warbler -5
Swainson’s Thrush -5
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 2

Main inside top species:
Blackpoll Warbler -34
Swainson’s Thrush -13
Gray-cheeked Thrush -10
Gray Catbird – 6
Magnolia Warbler -3
Common Yellowthroat -2
*we also caught 3 old banded Common Yellowthroats which were 3-5 years old.

Eleven species of warbler were observed or banded on site today. These included Tennessee, Nashville, Yellow, Magnolia, Cape May, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Common Yellowthroat and Wilson’s.

Not a bad day I would say! I am sure it will be good tomorrow since I will be giving more programs to the 4th graders. That is okay they need to know how great the wetland ecosystems are around here. It is now officially fall so let the birds come!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Quality not quantity is the name for the day!

With a southerly wind today I had hopes of having a few birds being blown back up along the lake. However, that did not happen at the Navarre migration station. Twenty new banded birds and 5 recaptures were in the bag for the day. Here are pictures of the highlights. They are much worth my time. What do you think? Highlight #1-take a look!

A nice looking female Connecticut Warbler! I believe we caught one of these because Sam Woods left the states today! He is still in search of this Bird! How about a quiz bird for the second highlight? It is not a tough one. Look at the beautiful rusty wings and its long tail
And here is the whole bird.

Maybe on Friday we may see the wind come from the northwest so I will keep my fingers crossed. Enjoy the last day of Summer! As a special treat I like the photo of the head of the Yellow-billed Cuckoo!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nice birds with low diversity...

The past two days were so-so for birds. The first Winter Wren and Ruby-crowned Kinglet were captured which makes me think of winter! It is not here yet that I can tell. The winds are going to shift to the southwest tomorrow and bring rain not snow-thank goodness! I have been hearing a Winter Wren singing for the past several days so there has been at least one here for while despite the unfavorable migration weather we have seen. The birds are coming regardless of the assistance of the wind. Northeasters are forecasted after the warm southerly wind. I am not hopeful for much volume the next couple days.

Why not add a quiz bird to keep us fresh on our fall songbirds?

and here is the front view of the quiz bird:

Why don’t we just celebrate the good things! How about this female kinglet!

And of course who cannot smile when you see a Winter Wren zipping past you?! Its short little tail and dark undertail coverts separates itself from its cousin the House Wren.

Another treat was this hatching year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak. He tries to look female-like but once you catch a glimpse of his wingpits. The bird cannot be confused with a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. She would have orange sherbet colored wingpits. The adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak has black flight feathers and more rose on the breast.

Rain is forecasted for tomorrow and scattered through Thursday. If there is a break in the weather the birds will be out feeding. Take time to enjoy summer before it ends on Tuesday! We captured a Brown Creeper on 09-19-09 (yesterday) so maybe winter is around the corner!
P.S. Quiz bird is an adult male Magnolia Warbler. Its upper tail coverts are coal black! You cannot miss the black streaks dripped on his brightly yellow colored shirt (breast).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Light NNW winds bring in the thrushes and catbirds

A large flight of thrushes appeared today. I could hear them calling while setting up the nets. Gray Catbirds also made up the majority of the catch. Highlight for the day was a nice adult Philadelphia Vireo and a hatching year American Redstart. The warblers were slim pickings with very few being seen or heard on the beach ridge. Forty-nine new banded birds with 16 recaptures. The thrushes from yesterday stuck around for another day; plus we had a few old Gray Catbirds arrive on site.
Top 4 species:
Swainson’s Thrush – 15
Gray Catbird – 14
Gray-cheeked Thrush -3
Common Yellowthroat – 3

A nice adult male Common Yellowthroat graced us with his presence. His chest is glowing almost as bright as a Prothonotary Warbler.
The winds are forecasted to go to the northeast for several days. With light winds overnight, is our only chance of bringing in more birds to the beach ridge. This is one season it does not pay to have a banding station along the southern end of the lake on a peninsula facing east into the lake. It goes to show that one year's worth of data cannot give you the whole picture of what is going on during bird migration. However, the days have been very pleasant to be outside!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

light winds bring improvement in the birds

Light winds overnight helped the catch of 38 new birds banded and 7 recaptures. Higlights of the day were a hatching year male Rose-breasted Grosbeak and our second White-throated Sparrow for the fall. Warbler species present were Magnolia, Tennessee, Northern Waterthrush, and Blackpoll.
Top 5 species:
Gray-cheeked Thrush – 8
Swainson’s Thrush – 7
American Robin – 5
Common Grackle – 3
House Wren – 3

Notice the line through the eye on this warbler and the white undertail coverts. The line through the eye crosses the "t" in its name: Tennessee Warbler.

Enjoy the great weather. Tomorrow ther eis to be light North winds. I have my fingers crossed.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Strong Northeaster moves birds off the lake

Just when you think the day might get better you wake up to a strong Noreaster which usually pushes the birds away from the lake. The catch of the day was like most days this fall so far. Slow. Oh well, still a nice day to be outside. We caught a big whopping 21 new birds and 5 recaptures. I guess it is holding true when we have a big spring season, the fall is much slower. We are close to being below last year's numbers at this date and last year was below average. It just goes to show the birds are truly weather/wind dependent. The early fall migrants have worked their way around the lake and headed south. It has been a poor year for the flycatchers which are one of the earliest to go.
Here is a bird we captured today that may be a stickler for some. Give it a shot.
It could look like a female like Common Yellowthroat but the bill is much larger similar to what an Oporornis would have. That is your hint. The eye markings may not be as obvious on this bird as some you may see of this species.

Friday looks like it may turn out to be a good migration wind for us. At least it is predicted to come out of the north-northwest quadrant which is helpful.

Get out to see if you can find all 5 brown thrushes. I know the Hermit is the last to come south but we did catch a White-throated Sparrow today so you never know! Good Luck!

P.S. Hatching Year Mourning Warbler. It was a tough one!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Thrushes have invaded...

Another light northwest wind overnight helped us catch 50 new birds and 5 recaptures. Thrushes were the catch of the day. We had three of the five brown thrushes. Swainson's, Gray-cheeked, and Veery from left to right. Notice their brown versus red-brown back coloration. This will help you differentiate from the red-backed/red tailed Veery and the brown backed/brown-tailed Gray-cheeked and Swainson’s Thrush. I want to know why the Swainson's Thrush used to be called the Olive-backed Thrush. It looks like to me the Gray-cheeked should have been called that. Oh well, they did not ask for my opinion.
The Swainson’s is the only thrush in this group to have an eye ring. Gray-cheeked Thrush and Veery do not have an eye ring. Can you tell how the Gray-cheeked got its name? I guess what else would you call it? Notice also that the breast spots on each species is different. Swainson's usually wears vivid breast spots with some buffiness. The Gray-cheeked has vivid spots and no buffy coloration. The Veery has blurry, indistinct spots.
Top five species:
Swainson’s Thrush – 15
Common Yellowthroat – 7
Gray Catbird -5
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 5
Blackpoll Warbler – 5

The winds are supposed to shift to the Northeast for the next two days. Friday and Saturday the overnight winds are northeast but during the day it is to be NNW. I am not sure what kind of migration will happen with these winds. No rain is forecasted so that will be good for the Midwest Birding Symposium happening around here this weekend. Songbird Banding demonstrations will be held at the Observatory this Friday and Saturday from 8 AM – 9:30 AM so come on out and see some birds up close!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Light Northwest winds turn things around

Today was a busier day than the weekend which was very slow with no more than a seven bird day and a twenty-one bird day. Yippee! The winds were more favorable overnight with a light NW wind. I left the station up to Mark and the volunteers today, so of course it was going to be a good day! That is the way it happened the last time.
Eleven species of warbler were seen on site including Tennessee, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Blackpoll, Black-and White, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat, and Wilson’s. There were 43 new banded birds and 3 recaptures.

Top 5 species were:
Swainson’s Thrush – 11
Gray Catbird – 8
Blackpoll Warbler – 4
Ovenbird – 3
Gray-cheeked Thrush -3

Quiz bird for the day in parts: First the tail. Notice the tail pattern. This is a big hint!

This warbler has a characteristic tail pattern that no other wood warbler has. Here is the front end of the bird: How are you doing? Isn't she one beautiful female?

Here is the whole bird for you to get the entire picture. Afterall you do not always get to see the whole bird in the field so paying close attention to other features may be helpful. Do you see the little splash of color at the bend of the wing? The bill is wider and has many rictal bristles (Whiskers) than most warblers. This assists it in aerial foraging like flycatchers do.

And if you guessed American Redstart you are correct! Get out and enjoy the great weather!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Quality birds for this 9-11 day

Before I go into my catch of the day, I want take time to remember all the people who lost their lives 8 years ago at the World Trade Center, Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania due to terrorist hijacked planes and also to those who lost their lives trying to save those from the horrific event. We are grateful for all that has been sacrificed and for the freedom we are able to express daily.

Quality not quantity was the catch of the day!

Another east wind today; but who cares when you have good quality birds like this quiz bird
and a nice looking adult male Connecticut Warbler. Yes, you heard me a Connecticut Warbler. So get out there and look for the Connecticut Warbler you missed in the spring. We catch more Connecticuts in the fall than we do in the spring; so maybe your chances of seeing one is greater in the fall.Below is a Hatching Year (HY) male Mourning Warbler with the adult male Connecticut Warbler. I am hoping you can see the split eye ring on the Mourning Warbler and the Connecticut Warbler's eye ring is more vibrant or as I say goes "boing!" compared to the duller split eye ring of the Mourning Warbler.Another highlight for the day was this Philadelphia Vireo. Its lemon yellow throat and belly look like lemon meringue pie. Eight species of warbler were seen or heard today which include Magnolia, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Ovenbird, Connecticut, Mourning, and Common Yellowthroat. American Robin, Veery, Swainson’s, and Gray-cheeked Thrush were the thrushes for the day.
Here is the whole body of the quiz bird. It has a characteristic facial pattern and even if the photo does not show that the yellow on this bird has a tint of orange in it. How is that for a hint?!
The quiz bird is the best looking warbler in my opinion. It is the Blackburnian Warbler!
Enjoy the weekend! Search for those warblers. They are out there!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Full Moon and few birds to band

I am summing up Sunday and Monday’s numbers because there just is not much to talk about. A full moon is great for migration if the winds are right. A northern front would be helpful in bringing the birds south. They are filtering their way south but not in any great numbers that I have seen or heard. Last year we did not have a 50 bird day until Sept 6th so I guess I should be patient. In the mean time I will share a quiz bird with you just to keep you up to speed on your fall warblers.
And here is a close-up of the head. It has buffy-white split eye ring so it is a hatching year male. If it was completely white split eye ring it would be an adult female and if it was all buffy with no indication of white in the split eye ring then it would have to go unknown for the sex. Some hatching year males will not show white in the split eye ring. Remember we also look at other characteristics such as alula (thumb) feather shape and other features to determine the age and sex of this quiz bird. So have you guessed the bird yet?
Here is another great fall warbler who has a different plumage in the fall than in the spring. Can you tell what sex this Chestnut-sided Warbler is? Do you notice a small bit of chestnut just under its wing? This makes it a hatching year male. Also once again if it does not have any chestnut on the flanks of a hatching year bird we cannot determine from its physical features if it is a male or female.
A couple highlights of the past couple days were our first Blackpoll Warbler and Gray-cheeked Thrush. A couple more Swainson’s Thrushes have appeared. The two days we banded 36 new birds and 8 recaptures. It looks like the weather is not going to change anytime soon. The days will come when the Blackpoll Warblers and thrushes will be here filling the trees, one just has to be patient. P.S. the quiz bird was a Mourning Warbler!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Calm winds produce little bird movement

It is a different day with about the same number of new birds as yesterday (20 new banded and 4 recaptures). There were a few first time for the fall birds today. One is a quiz bird. Give it your best shot.

Answer is at bottom of post.

Also here is another warbler with a diagnostic tail pattern. It has a long tail for a warbler and lighter flare of yellow on the outer tail feathers for this female American Redstart. Note also the bit of color on the flank by the bend in the wing. All helpful hints for fall warbler identification.

Another first for the fall which may make you think it is time for winter is this Purple Finch. As you can see it has loose juvenile feathers on the body with characteristic stripes on the flanks, thick beak, and dark facial stripe through the eye (It may be hard to see in this photo). This is a hatching year unknown sex bird. You cannot tell male from female at this stage in a hatching year Purple Finch's life. It is safer to look like female-like if you are a young male Purple Finch than to be bright purple and have the adult males showing aggression towards you. Its life may have a few less complications and add to its survival.
Another bluebird day forecasted for tomorrow. The weather is not supposed to change until sometime on Monday. However, there have been at least nine species of warbler seen around the marshes today ( Nashville, Magnolia, Blackburnian (no, I have not seen one yet), Bay-breasted, American Redstart, Ovenbird, Northern Waterthrush, Mourning, Common Yellowthroat). Who knows you may see one that is not listed.
P.S. the quiz bird is a hatching year Bay-breasted Warbler. This one cannot be sexed so it had to be recorded as a hatching year unknown. Notice the gray legs and feet which separate it from the Blackpoll Warbler in the fall.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Few birds but another surprise to make the day!

Yesterday was 12 birds. How about 21 today? Twenty-one new birds and seven recaptures was the catch of the day. High pressure is still in control of the winds. Warblers seen today include Black-and-White, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, and Ovenbird.
The highlight was this quiz bird. Take a look at the rich brown colors on its head. You see a glimpse of the dark triangle on its back and the white eye line? It is an important field mark.
Despite small numbers, there was an opportunity to see identifying features of a hatching year Ovenbird and Northern Waterthrush. Looking at the tertials, you can see the Ovenbird has rusty edged tertials and the Northern Waterthrush has buffy or tan edged tertials. This is the identifying age characteristic for these species.

Part two of the first quiz bird.

And if that does not help, how about whole bird!

Such a beautiful bird! The Marsh Wren rarely comes out of the marsh but it did today! Enjoy the day!