May has been unseasonably cold this year, and today was no exception. It was a mere 4 degrees when I left home to meet Kevin at the nets. As it turned out he was there a little ahead of me (as he often is) and was just returning with the first captures of the day.
It seemed appropriate that at the peak of migration the first bird caught was a Chestnut-sided Warbler (Setophaga pensylvanica).
The second bird was also a warbler, a Myrtle Warbler (Setophaga coronata), a species sometimes referred to as a Yellow-rumped Warbler and shown as such in many field guides. Birds in the east have a yellow throat and birds in the west a white throat. Previously lumped together as Yellow-rumped Warbler, each form is now considered a distinct species, with the western bird called Audubon's Warbler (Setophaga auduboni).
Flycatchers in the genus Empidonax are notoriously difficult to identify in the field (some species virtually impossible) but when the bird is subjected to the measurements normally taken at a bird banding station, the identification can be clinched based on biometrics, as was the case with this Least Flycatcher (Empidonax minimus).
Baltimore Orioles (Icterus galbula) seem to be especially abundant this year and we captured this female.
It was bent on letting Kevin know that it was not happy!
The female of a Black-throated Blue Warbler (Setophaga caerulescens) is quite drab as compared with the more colourful male.
There is nothing dull about a Magnolia Warbler (Setophaga magnolia), however.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that we were joined by Laura Lawlor and her daughter, Aberdeen, who thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were able to explore the wonders of SpruceHaven. Jonathan Wilhelm also visited for the first time and expressed a desire to return.
Unfortunately, I neglected to take a picture of these guests but I will rectify that omission when they visit for a second time.
All species banded 18 May: Traill's Flycatcher (1), Least Flycatcher (1), Baltimore Oriole (2), Common Yellowthroat (2), Chestnut-sided Warbler (1), American Redstart (2), Magnolia Warbler (1), Black-throated Blue Warbler (1), Myrtle Warbler (1). Total: 12 individuals of 9 species.
19 May 2019
The forecast was for considerably warmer weather than we have been experiencing; early morning was still cool but it did start to warm up through the day. We were all glad to feel a little warmth in the sun's rays.
An Alder Flycatcher (Empindonax alnorum) was one of our early catches, probably just passing through here on its way north.
We do not encounter many Orchard Orioles (Icterus spurius) in our area, so to find three individuals, two males and a female, in the same net, along with a male and female Baltimore Oriole was quite remarkable.
|Orchard Oriole male|
|Orchard Oriole female and male|
Kevin and Heather were sharing the banding duties so in each instance we were able to hold the female and male of the species together.