I’ve never been to New York City’s Grand Central Station at rush hour but, if I had been, I’m sure it would not have seemed much different than the banding lab today. We had the “Whiz Kids” and their parents, and a long list of our adult volunteers arrive by 7:00 AM (or earlier). And these aren’t the “I’ll just sit back and watch” kinds of folks – they all want to be involved….meaningfully. This is GREAT!! But it does require some thoughtful co-ordination. I was pretty good at the co-ordination bit; I’m not so sure about the thoughtful… Thank goodness Peter Thoem had a bunch help him with the census and Peter Scholtens attracted some efforts into improving the muddy trail down to net 4. (Somehow wheeling a barrow with wood chips isn’t as attractive to young minds as racing from one net to another to see if it has anything in it.) But despite all the energy of people rushing off in all directions, the whole morning had the feel of a party, a celebration, as we moved toward the end of the season. And there were goodies: cookies and muffins and chocolates and sandwiches and coffee. But best of all, there was good feeling. People connecting, sharing the present, and then planning for the future when they can make it all happen again.
But that wasn’t the end of it. A school group of 27 individuals arrived to see what banding was all about. Of course, by the time they got there most of the “good” birds (according to our expert panel of judges) had gone. (And they left too early to see the best bird of the day – a male Mourning Warbler.)
So when the nets were closed and the parking lot clear I was able to kick back and feel: this was a good day.
For the end of May, this was a very good day bird-wise. Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwings, a smattering of warblers. We banded 26. This pushed our new Spring record to over 2,000 (2,012) birds!!
As well as the number banded, we’re really pleased about a number of other things:
– the Purple Martin colony has quadrupled (at least) from last year;
– the hummingbird feeders are drawing the little birds to our windows for everyone to see;
– the number of volunteers who want to make a meaningful impact has increased dramatically;
– the banding lab has a very positive atmosphere – visitors and volunteers go away feeling this
is a good place to be. And that’s what it should be all about.
– the blog has been completed daily and, although not Pulitzer Prize stuff, has met
critical acclaim if not noteriety;
– the blog has become a venue for budding -and seasoned- photographers to showcase their
work (and I’m impressed with the quality – as well as the art – of some of their shots).
1 Downy Woodpecker
5 Traill’s Flycatchers (using measurements we determined one was probably a Willow and anther was an Alder)
1 Least Flycatcher
2 Gray Catbirds
4 Cedar Waxwings
1 Warbling Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Yellow Warbler
2 Chestnut-sided Warblers
2 Magnolia Warblers
1 Mourning Warbler
4 Wilson’s Warblers
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
2 House Wrens
1 American Robin
1 Chipping Sparrow
3 Brown-headed Cowbirds
ET’s: 58 spp.
Today’s Photo Gallery: