February 3rd – A Tale of Two…..Banding Sites

Our banding effort was split this morning between our two ongoing sites: the Snow Bunting site and Ruthven Park. I went to Ruthven to do a banding demonstration for a group of kids that were attending a “camp” program to fill a school PA day. It was quite cold first thing this morning so I was a little leary about netting so I just opened one net (1A) – one that I could see easily from the banding lab so I could take birds out of it quickly. It had been almost a month since this net was open so the birds were certainly not expecting it. Consequently I caught quite a few: 44 altogether in the space of about an hour and a quarter. Twenty of these were American Tree Sparrows. They must be finding the scrub habitat between the 2 feeder complexes at 1A and 2 very appealing.

When I was finished at Ruthven, I went to join Nancy at the Snow Bunting site. She had arrived there around 8:00 and by the time I got there at noon she had banded over 70 buntings. The cold temperatures and the snow cover is making the bait piles very attractive to them. Also, for unknown reasons, we were not bothered by either the Merlin or the Kestrel today so the buntings were not particularly “flighty”.

At Ruthven (35):
1 Downy Woodpecker
2 Black-capped Chickadees
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
3 Northern Cardinals
17 American Tree Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
3 House Finches
7 American Goldfinches

At the Bunting field (124):
117 Snow Buntings
4 Horned Larks
3 Lapland Longspurs

At Ruthven (9):
2 Black-capped Chickadees
3 American Tree Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
3 American Goldfinches

At the Bunting field:
15 Snow Buntings
13 Lapland Longspurs


1 thought on “February 3rd – A Tale of Two…..Banding Sites

  1. I get excited with 18 cardinals in my lilac bushes and then Rick comes along with 100+ snow buntings. Geesh.

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