Monday, May 6, 2013

Highlights from April 29th- May 5th

It has been like the birds know the Biggest Week in American Birding was starting on May 3rd. What the past week had in store for us was the biggest day of the season at the banding station (so far this spring) with over 300 birds and 49 species banded. Not bad for the 3rd of May, and what a way to kick off the festival!

This week we had 26 species of warblers including Blue-winged (BWWA), Golden-winged (GWWA), Tennessee (TEWA), Orange-crowned (OCWA), Nashville (NAWA), Northern Parula (NOPA), Yellow (YEWA), Chestnut-sided (CSWA), Magnolia (MAWA), Black-throated Blue (BTBW), Myrtle (MYWA), Black-throated Green (BTNW), Blackburnian (BLBW), Western Palm (WPWA), Bay-breasted (BBWA), Blackpoll (BLPW), Black-and-white (BAWW), Prothonotary (PROW), Worm-eating (WEWA), Ovenbird (OVEN), Northern Waterthrush (NOWA), Mourning (MOWA), Common Yellowthroat (COYE), Hooded (HOWA), Wilson's (WIWA), and Canada (CAWA). 

The next burst of southerly winds should bring in the second wave cadre of birds in full glory. Look for a low pressure cell around Oklahoma/Arkansas for the best push of warm tropical air. We have seen a glimpse of the second wave with a few MAWAs, a Scarlet Tanager (SCTA), and Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBGR) this week.

Take time to notice the small things on these birds. Can you guess what the following birds are by the coloration on their backs?

Although only one bird sports the name "Yellow-rumped Warbler," many warblers have yellow rumps. Here are two of them.
Yellow-rumped Warbler (left) and Magnolia Warbler (right)

Other highlights of the week:
Blackpoll Warbler

And here are some beautiful birds - just for the joy of it!
Male Bay-breasted Warbler


Male BTBW back view-note white wing patch

Male Indigo Bunting (INBU)

Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA)
The station has banded nine this spring along with one Cooper's Hawk
Quiz Bird
And the answer to the Quiz Bird: Female Hooded Warbler with its white tail spots and gray hood. Note the appearance of the large bill and large eye.

Migration has definitely gotten off to a good start this year. Follow this magical event with us here and with BSBO's migration predictions compiled by Kenn Kaufman and the banding totals at

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