March 6th & 7th – After The Storm

Sunday, March 6th:

I returned to the bait site tonight and you should have seen all of the SNBU’s!!! When I arrived around five o’clock there were no birds at the bait site but I saw birds to the west in the corn field. All of the bait was gone from this morning. I put a little more corn out and returned to the vehicle. Wow, a flock of over ~100 SNBU’s flew in from the corn field within a couple of minutes. They fed for a short time and then flew back over the corn field only to be joined by more SNBU’s. There was well over ~150 birds and they were predominantly SNBU’s!! I’m excited…. the numbers have gone from the few I saw this morning when I first arrived after I fed them to a larger number and then tonight to see this large flock coming in to feed just after I put corn out! I had to tell you, after a week of March weather and rain the birds returned and grew in numbers. It was fantastic seeing the birds again and watching the flock fly in to feed.

March 7th:

A beautiful morning – sunny, calm, and cold (-14 C).
No sighting of the large flock of SNBU’s I saw last night. I put five traps out, fresh snow to set up on with the corn contained. Even with the eight cm of snow there was still open areas of land.
Well, after three hours I banded – 4 SNBU’s (3 males, 1 female), and one HOLA (yellow throat, white eyebrow). I have samples from the four SNBU’s.
It was disappointing not to see the large flock that was here yesterday but throughout the morning I had flocks of nine to over fifty SNBU’s dropping to the traps. The flocks were flighty and didn’t stay long to feed. Also, I was watching some SNBU’s flying high, and north. Beautiful to watch them fly, blue sky in the background. A large number of the SNBU’s were male, showing plenty of white in the plumage.


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