May 25th – Rain Delay

Blue Jay caught shortly before the storm – note the dark clouds in the background. -JWC

Mother Nature is a capriciaous b@#&h. Any deity with the slightest bit of humanity would have started the thunderstorm at 4:30 AM when my alarm goes off. I could simply shut it off and roll over for another one or two hours of sleep. But no….she holds off until I get there and get a couple of nets open before opening the skies for a thunderous deluge, complete with chain lightening. But I know about her tricks. I opened only a few nets and we were able to get them all closed before the rain really hit. In the hour or so that they were open we even caught a few birds. For the next hour and a half the storm swept through and then it cleared and we reopened for a couple of hours.

As well as getting some “new” birds to band, we also got some interesting old birds – retraps banded in previous years:

This Blue-winged Warbler was banded on May 21st, 2015 as a SY bird meaning it was hatched in 2014 – making it 5 years old. It hadn’t been encountered since then. -MAS

Hatched….and banded….in 2014, this male Downy Woodpecker is 5 years old. It has been encountered here many times – this is home. -MAS

Just think of what that Blue-winged Warbler has seen/experienced on its 5 trips to and from Central America!

So many birds have come all this way to nest. And Brown-headed Cowbirds have been waiting for them so they can deposit their eggs in the migrants’ nest and have them raise young cowbirds – often to the great detriment of the host bird’s own young. We have been asked to look for evidence of this “nest parasitism”. Nancy found a new nest with a cowbird egg in it. We’re not sure of what species built it. Chipping Sparrow? Yellow Warbler? Just not sure.

Cowbird egg in a new nest – not sure what kind. -NRF

Banded 19:
2 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Least Flycatcher
1 Blue Jay

Striking male Cedar Waxwing. -MAS

1 Cedar Waxwing

Note the “waxy” tips on the tail. -MAS

1 Philadelphia Vireo
3 Red-eyed Vireos

This tiny 10th primary feather indicates that this Red-eyed Vireo is an ASY bird. -MMG

1 Blue-winged Warbler

Female Blackpoll Warbler. In the Fall both males and females will look like this….fun. -MMG

1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Mourning Warbler

Another male Mourning Warbler. -MMG

1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Song Sparrow
1 Lincoln’s Sparrow

Two male Orchard Orioles: SY (second year) bird on the left; ASY (after second year) bird on the right. -MAS

1 Orchard Oriole
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 66 spp.

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