May 29th – Nearing the End

Great Crested Flycatcher - one of an assortment of flycatchers showing up now. - P. Thoem

Neotropical migrants continue to move through. I would imagine they’re in a hurry to get to wherever they’re going as it’s getting late. Some of these late birds (almost all of which are young or second-year birds) will not likely be successful in raising any young. They may have trouble finding mates and/or suitable territories.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - noted as a typically late May migrant. - P. Thoem

It’s an interesting mix right now: we’ve had a good number of flycatchers over the past couple of days. It makes sense that these insect-eating birds would hold off until they were sure there would be insects around. We’re also still getting warblers in good numbers; almost all that we catch are females. And then there’s Cedar Waxwings. Yesterday we banded 5, today we got 18. These birds move in flocks, sometimes very large flocks. They look for patches of food that they can swoop down to and eat their way through. Last Fall, wehen we got over 400 they were after the plentiful wild berry/grape crop. Right now they appear to be eating the flower buds of the numerous hawthorns on the site.

We got another interesting retrap this morning: an Eastern Wood Pewee that banded as a HY bird in 2005, making it 6 years old. Between then and now we encountered it only once – in the Summer of 2008. Think of how many trips that bird has made to its Winter home in the forests of northern South America. There it occupies the same niche it has here: a perch in the subcanopy from which it sallies forth to catch an unsuspecting insect, then returning to the perch.

Engorged mosquito: pest to us, Swedish meatball to the birds. - B. Zuberi

Mosquitoes were just starting to make their presence felt this morning – but not bad at all. Usually by this time you don’t want to wander into the forest but it’s still quite pleasant.

Banded 44:
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
5 Traill’s Flycatchers
1 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 American Robin
4 Gray Catbirds
18 Cedar Waxwings
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-winged Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Magnolia Warblers
3 American Redstarts
1 Mourning Warbler
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Wilson’s Warbler
1 Song Sparrow

Retrapped 16:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Eastern Wood Pewee
2 Blue-winged Warblers
5 Yellow Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Common Yellowthroat
3 Indigo Buntings
1 Baltimore Oriole

ET’s: 64 spp.

Photo Gallery:

Dr. Oliver Love kicking back after a long day in the field. - B. Zuberi

Great Crested Flycatcher - B. Zuberi

Male Indigo Bunting - B. Zuberi

Eastern Kingbird - likely nesting in the immediate area. - P. Thoem


1 thought on “May 29th – Nearing the End

  1. I’ve never seen an Eastern Kingbird display his crown like that, cool! Though sorry the little guy was so distraught. 😉

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