October 1st – 3rd: Someone Turned On The Tap

September is all done except for the crying. October is a new start and someone seems to have turned on the avian tap. In these three days we have banded 323 birds (63, 108, 152). The vast majority of these are short-distance (or shorter-distance) migrants as the totals below will demonstrate. This is the time when banding is the most interesting….and fun. You approach each net with expectation, wondering what species and how many it might hold. And you’re rarely disappointed. On Monday, Nancy even caught a young male Sharp-shinned Hawk – we’re lucky if we get one of these a year.

We have been seeing a lot of warblers, especially Yellow-rumped or Myrtle Warblers (I still prefer the “old” name). But also a smattering of others. I always like to handle Blackpoll Warblers. This small bird, which flies non-stop across the Atlantic for 80+ hours from New England to South America, weighs only about 10 grams without any fat. Today we caught one that weighed over 18 grams and had a “fat score” of 6! This bird was carrying enough energy to fly from here directly to South America. In the accompanying picture you can see the very large pad of fat on the belly (left arrow) and the overfull furculum (right arrow).

The wind has driven many leaves from the trees (many into the nets) exposing a very heavy grape crop – large dark clusters are everywhere. No wonder the Cedar Waxwings have been around in such numbers!

October 1st; Banded 63:
1 Sharp-shinned Hawk
2 Eastern Phoebes
1 Brown Creeper
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Hermit Thrush
30 Cedar Waxwings
1 Red-eyed Vireo
2 Nashville Warblers
2 Magnolia Warblers
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
3 Myrtle Warblers
2 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
2 Song Sparrows
9 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
1 Dark-eyed Junco

ET’s: 47 spp.

October 2nd; Banded 108:
1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Golden-crowned Kinglets
4 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
3 Hermit Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
68 Cedar Waxwings
2 Nashville Warblers
7 Myrtle Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
2 Blackpoll Warblers
2 Common Yellowthroats
1 Indigo Bunting
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Field Sparrow
3 Song Sparrows
1 Swamp Sparrow
4 White-throated Sparrows
1 Dark-eyed Junco
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 48 spp.

October 3rd; Banded 152:
1 Blue Jay
1 Brown Creeper
1 Winter Wren
18 Golden-crowned Kinglets
14 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
4 Hermit Thrushes
1 Gray Catbird
15 Cedar Waxwings
4 Red-eyed Vireos
3 Nashville Warblers
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
55 Myrtle Warblers
1 Western Palm Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 Field Sparrow
4 Song Sparrows
3 Swamp Sparrows
20 White-throated Sparrows
3 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 40 spp.


Sharp-shinned Hawk  -N. Furber

Sharp-shinned Hawk
-N. Furber

Sharp-shinned Hawk -N. Furber

Sharp-shinned Hawk
-N. Furber

Blackpoll Warbler -C.Jones

Blackpoll Warbler

Blackpoll with large fat deposits

Blackpoll with large fat deposits

Brown Creeper -N. Furber

Brown Creeper
-N. Furber

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