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!

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