September 23rd – The Winds Of Change

Young male Mourning Warbler -DOL

There were fairly strong SW winds blowing heavy clouds across the sky most of the morning. Evidently there were a few very light showers during the night and the forecast suggested there was a chance of our getting more but it never happened. Still, you could sense a difference and at the end of the day the numbers showed it. Although we banded only 17 birds it was still 10 more than yesterday. And we encountered 16 more species than yesterday – 57 vs just 41 – including the first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season. We are seeing the last of the long-distance migrants at the moment; soon the short-distance migrants will start to arrive in large numbers. Sure….we will continue to catch and/or observe warblers on their way to Central America but they will be fewer and far between (like this young male Mourning Warbler).

Mourning Warbler -DOL

We have been getting a fair number of retrapped birds, especially Red-eyed Vireos that we’ve banded within the last 2 weeks. They have been taking advantage of the benign conditions to put on weight. One individual that we caught this morning has put on 7 grams in 8 days (a 30% increase over its initial weight)! And what has happened to the grackles? A few days ago we estimated (conservatively) that there were 7800 in the immediate area. Yesterday we encountered just one and today 51.

Eastern Phoebe surveying its domain. -KMP

Wild Turkeys just outside the banding lab. -DOL

On the prowl…… DOL

Banded 17:
1 Yellow-billed Cuckoo
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Philadelphia Vireo
1 Red-eyed Vireo
3 Nashville Warblers
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
2 American Redstarts
1 Ovenbird
1 Mourning Warbler
1 Common Yellowthroat
1 American Goldfinch

ET’s: 57 spp.

Karen’s Kreeping Korner:

Butterfly Meadow in the early morning. -KMP

Painted Lady. -KMP

Eastern Comma. -KMP

Eastern Comma – with its wings closed it looks very much like a dried up leaf. -KMP


Leave a Reply