This morning we were assailed by two Golden Hordes – a good one and an evil one. American Goldfinches were all over and around the site in flocks of up to a dozen birds. They were especially plentiful in the goldenrods of the Butterfly Meadows (and, since there is so much, have been spurning our nijer feeders). The evil horde was the golden leaves that the high winds blew down, filling the nets. It took us over an hour and a half to clear them and furl the nets.
We had some interesting retraps today: the Hermit Thrushes that have been staying around have all been putting on fat and weight. Here’s some examples:
Banded September 19 weighing 31.2 g; recovered today at 33.2 g.
Banded October 17 weighing 30.1 g; now 35.1 g.
Banded October 19 weighing 29.6 g; now 31.8 g.
Banded October 20 weighing 32.9 g; now 34.6 g.
There has been a good berry/grape crop that these frugivores (at this time of year) have been taking advantage of. But a big surprise this morning was the recapture of a young Red-eyed Vireo. It was banded in early October; on October 12 it weighed 15.9 g; today it was 21.7.
Birds are pretty hardy. We caught and banded and Black-capped Chickadee this morning that was missing its right eye due to an old injury. It appeared to be in good shape and thriving.
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Blue Jay
1 Black-capped Chickadee
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglets
4 Hermit Thrushes
1 American Robin
7 Cedar Waxwings
1 Myrtle Warbler
5 Northern Cardinals
3 Chipping Sparrows
3 Song Sparrows
8 White-throated Sparrows
1 Eastern White-crowned Sparrow
2 Dark-eyed juncos
1 Red-winged Blackbird
33 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 35 spp.