September 23rd – Dodging T’storms

A VERY young Black-billed Cuckoo, barely capable of flight.

Shortly after 6:00, it was heavily overcast and the forecast was calling for thunderstorms and rain. But, right at that moment, it wasn’t raining, so we opened. And, although we weren’t flooded with birds, we were catching a nice mix at a…..leisurely….pace. But shortly after 10:00, really dark clouds rolled in and thunder began to rumble nearby. Time to close! Erich and I hustled around the net lanes and had all the nets closed – sans leaves – in less than 30 minutes! There’s life in the old boys yet.

Another look at the young Black-billed Cuckoo.

Perhaps the most unusual bird banded today was a VERY young Black-billed Cuckoo. This bird, barely able to fly as its flight feathers weren’t grown in yet, was in Net 10 along with a parent (which got out before I could get to it). This bird could only have fledged within the past couple of days meaning that it was a very late nesting (or second nesting, more likely).

Erich trying to figure out where the census data goes......

And then, as we were tallying up the day’s data, in walk Peter and Birha. They had been out doing point counts for Birha’s McMaster project and had just dodged the storm. Luckily Birha had remembered that she was supposed to bring Tim Bits (the standard penalty for letting more than one bird go inside the banding lab).

Peter looking thoughtful after doing point counts and just dodging a thunderstorm.

Birha relaxes after just missing the storm.

Banded 28:
1 Black-billed Cuckoo
1 House Wren
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Gray Catbird
1 Philadelphia Vireo (caught in the top panel of a net that we had all but closed closed and were just getting ready to furl – it really wanted that bling)
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Chestnut-sided Warbler
8 Magnolia Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
3 Ovenbirds (one had a fat score of ‘5’ and weighed 24 g.)
1 Song Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow (1st one of the migration)
6 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 4:
1 Gray Catbird
1 Wilson’s Warbler
2 American Goldfinches

ET’s: 43 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 33


Leave a Reply