20 May 2017
The wind was relatively calm when we arrived before 06:00 but the augury was for the velocity to increase as the morning progressed. The forecast turned out to be accurate and we were compelled to close the nets early. So we did not have an especially auspicious day in terms of numbers and variety of birds; we did, however, enjoy each other's company and benefitted from being together.
It is rewarding to see how Heather and Daina have become part of our team and have quietly assumed more and more responsibility. Here Heather is set to process a male American Goldfinch Spinus tristis while the maestro Kevin Grundy is content to let these young people become ever more involved.
Heather is gently blowing on the bird to determine whether there is any deposition of fat. As might be expected on a non-migratory species, there was not.
Having completed the other measurements she is ready to install the band.
Her dexterity and confidence grow with each bird she handles.
Our "bird of the day" was a Mourning Warbler Geothlypis philadelphia, our first ever for SpruceHaven. It is quite incredible how much we have learned of the avian population at SpruceHaven from our banding activities and we did not even start until last fall, and even then only one day each weekend.
Baltimore Orioles Icterus galbula are pretty common but it is still an amazing sight to see this brilliant bird up close.
Brown-headed Cowbirds Molothrus ater are ubiquitous at times and it will be informative if we can detect the species which they are parasitizing.
We captured this female Rose-breasted Grosbeak Pheucticus ludovicianus and I think that Heather's fingers may still be bruised from the experience! It was pretty calm, however, when Kevin held it for a photograph.
We had expected to be back at it again today, but it has rained quite heavily for most of the morning, so we had to abandon any thoughts of unfurling our nets.
We will look forward to resuming again next weekend.
All species 20 May: Common Starling (1), American Goldfinch (2), Mourning Warbler (1), Baltimore Oriole (1), Brown-headed Cowbird (1), Red-winged Blackbird (2), Song Sparrow (1), Rose-breasted Grosbeak (1). Total: 10.