I’ve been home from my awesome adventure (3 weeks on the road with my family) for about a week now. I’m back at work and remembering what it was I do there. I’m getting back into the swing of my Real Life, which today meant volunteering at the new MAPS station at Audubon.
MAPS stands for “Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship” and involves mist-netting birds once in every 10-day period from June through August. I have long wanted a MAPS station at Audubon and thought we might have to wait until 2012 when Tom LeBlanc might have time to do such a thing.
To my surprise and delight, Emily Thomas, who has been banding birds at Audubon during our springtime demonstrations, called me while I was en route to Memphis, TN to tell me that she had applied and been accepted to start a MAPS station at Audubon. Today was the third banding session under this protocol – and my first chance to attend.
Terry LeBaron and I were assigned nets 8-10 and I got lots of practice putting nets up, removing birds from nets, scribing, and taking nets down.
Tying with Gray Catbird for most individuals from a single species… American Redstart. And oddly, all were first year males.
It was as if they were having a big bachelor’s party or something.
We are also starting to see some hatch year birds, such as this baby Song Sparrow:
And this baby Grackle:
A pretty little Veery hopped into net 1 at some point in the morning.
A pair of American Goldfinches were the first birds to finally enter net 8.
(Eric forgot to put a band on her leg, though he recorded all relevant banding data… Oh, Eric…)
Gotta love a Yellow Warbler:
And speaking of warblers, and speaking of blunders made by Eric… The last bird of the day was a beautiful male Hooded Warbler. Eric managed to get a band on this one and get a wing measurement… but we never weighed him, nor did we get pictures. Oh, Eric…
After MAPS banding, Terry and I tagged along to watch Emily and Eric band Kestrel babies.
“My” box has 5 eggs!
The boxes with babies were down just over the PA line.
Here’s a whole family of 4 boys. The other box had 2 boys and 2 girls.
Terry said that holding baby kestrels made last winter’s hard work on all the kestrel boxes totally worth the trouble!
Eric bands the Kestrel Babies:
Thank you Emily, Eric, and Terry for another fabulous day of learning!