Another Fine Day at Bird Banding

Yesterday, I spent the morning at Allegany State Park with Tom (a.k.a. mon@rch) learning about birds and bird banding.  I had been thinking during my drive to the park that it was odd that we hadn’t caught a Red-winged Blackbird, since the habitat seems agreeable for them.  “Ask and ye shall receive.” Look who was waiting for us at the first net check:

Red-winged Blackbird Female
Red-winged Blackbird, Female

It doesn’t show terrifically well in this photo, but look closely at the top of her wing.  I had no idea when looking at these birds in the field that the female has a bit of red on her wing, too.  I thought she was all brown.  When I searched Tom’s photostream in Flickr to find a picture of the male, I found this picture of a female that he took in June 2006.  Look at all THAT red!

Red-winged Blackbird Female
Another Red-winged Blackbird Female

Maybe next time we’ll catch the male.

Common Yellowthroat Male AdultThis is a great time of year for learning about all the plumage differences in birds – male vs female, juvenile vs adult.  I borrowed the picture of the male at right from Tom (again)…  We didn’t catch a male yesterday.  But we did catch Mother and Fledgling:

Common Yellowthroat Mommy and Baby
Common Yellowthroat Mother and Child

Once again, we caught several American Redstarts.  Their changes in plumage are quite dramatic.  This fellow provided quite a lesson in feather moult and regrowth:
American Redstart Male 1a

American Redstart, Male

He was born last year.  He has mostly adult feathers, but still some first year feathers:
American Redstart Male 1b

Eventually, the feathers with yellow will be replaced with feathers like those on the left – with orange.

Here are two views of another American Redstart male – younger.  Notice that his head is still gray, not black:
American Redstart Male 2a

And his wing feathers are all yellow, no hint of orange:
American Redstart Male 2b

American Redstart, Male

There were plenty more birds, and there was plenty more learning… But I have to get ready for work now… So I’ll save them for future posts.

7 thoughts on “Another Fine Day at Bird Banding

  1. Pingback: Quiz Birds!! « Greg Dodge Journal

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