September 26th – “And It Went Downhill From There”

Early morning rainbow over Ruthven.

It looked like we might get some rain first thing this morning when a rainbow formed over the Mansion, but nothing materialized and it just got HOT and humid. Looking at the log notes from this morning: “Had ~8 birds on first [net] round and it went downhill from there in terms of numbers.” I must confess that I’m finding the combination of hot temperatures and low numbers of birds extremely frustrating. Does it show?………

Cape May Warbler with a deformed bill - avian keratin disorder?

We caught and banded a very interesting HY Cape May Warbler – it had a deformed bill in which the mandibles were crossed, making it look like a miniature Crossbill. The bird seemed to have been feeding OK as it had adequate muscle and fat scores and didn’t appear to be in any distress (other than being in my hand for a few minutes). I’m wondering if this is an example of “avian keratin disorder”. It would be interesting to know where this bird originated from as some of the literature I’ve read suggests that there may be increased incidences of the disorder in certain areas. This is hard to ascertain if the birds affected by it all migrate out of the area.

Banded 24:
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 Gray-cheeked Thrush
1 Swainson’s Thrush
1 Wood Thrush
3 Gray Catbirds
1 Cape May Warbler
1 Black-throated Green Warbler
1 Blackpoll Warbler
1 American Redstart
1 Indigo Bunting
7 White-throated Sparrows
4 American Goldfinches

Retrapped 5:
1 Black-capped Chickadee
1 White-breasted Nuthatch
1 Blackpoll warbler
1 Chipping Sparrow
1 Song Sparrow

ET’s: 42 spp.

Birds banded per 100 net hours: 19


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