Oh Bird Banding… I missed you…


Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Last week I got to visit briefly.  This week, I got to visit from (almost) start to finish.  (Sadly, my “alarm clock” –  a.k.a. cell phone – was left at work and I had to rely on my body to wake me up on time – which it failed to do…  Still, I got there sometime between 6 and 6:30!)

I was especially interested in practicing taking birds out of the net, since Emily will be down one technician next week.  The first two birds were newly fledged wrens hopelessly twisted in the nets.  I tried, but had to give them up to more experienced hands.  The third bird was… a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, which Eric decided was not the best bird for starting out the morning.

As the day went on, though, I did get plenty of practice on a variety of birds big and small.  Emily even let Katie, Maggie, and me take turns banding.  Maggie and Katie really started getting the hang of Pyles… I am still hopeless… but perhaps trainable? We’ll see…


I banded this juvenile American Robin. Because it was still sporting a dappled belly, Emily called it a “fawn.”

The most exciting catch of the day was big! We have been seeing lots of Green Herons doing the fly-by thing and spoke about how great it would be if one went into a net. So when we saw something big in net 7, we all thought “Green Heron!” It wasn’t, but it was thrilling just the same: a bird Emily had never banded before: Pileated Woodpecker!


Emily was more than a little excited about the chance to band a Pileated Woodpecker!

Everyone wanted a chance to be photographed with her.

IMG_9847 IMG_9851
Terry and Katie braved the strong bill for a photo opp!

We also were blessed by the appearance of a Blue-winged Warbler, which somehow, I didn’t manage to photograph.  Emily says this is the first at this banding station.  The Indigo Bunting was thrilling to see:


One of the last birds of the day was one I kept hearing all morning and wishing would go into the net: Common Yellowthroat. And here is the handsome gentleman:


I’m looking forward to next week! Join us!


Pretty in Pink

Took a (very) little walk around at Audubon after work yesterday.  What stood out?  Pink stuff.

Deptford Pinks
Deptford Pinks

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp Cinquefoil

Common Milkweed

Bird Banding at Audubon

I finally had a Saturday with enough time in the schedule to at least stop by the banding station at Audubon.  After hitting the snooze button a bunch of times, I arrived “late” at 6:30 or so.  Nets were already up, but they had not done the first net check.

I never ended up going on a net check because I got immediately distracted by the Eastern Bluebird pair working hard to feed the nestlings who are so close to being ready to fledge.


I waited (im)patiently to try for a shot of a parent removing a fecal sac after feeding. Bluebird parents keep a tidy nest.


In preparation for nature photography classes I’ll be teaching Tuesday evenings in July, I spent most of the time practicing with my 100-400mm lens. I didn’t have my tripod, but Terry LeBaron loaned me his. Thanks, Terry!


Eastern Cottontail


House Wren – sporting some bling!


Baltimore Checkerspot Caterpillar




I think it might be a Blue Dasher teneral… Colors will change as it becomes mature.

Then it was back to the banding station and a quick lens change:


Emily Thomas and a Gray Catbird


Emily checks the molt limit on a Song Sparrow

That’s all for now. Bye!


Yellow Warbler Female