Bird Banding at Allegany State Park – July 4th

The first net check filled the bags and Tom had to work quickly in order to stay on his schedule.  Still, he took the time to teach Kyle and me as he worked.  There were some new birds, and young birds, and molting birds… and some tricky IDs for us.  I found myself getting frustrated sometimes and would say, “Well, I wouldn’t be able to band this one, because I don’t know what it is.”  Those Little Brown Birds are part of the reason that I’m such a Reluctant Birder!

I misidentified this one, for example.  Before you mouse over it, make your guess…
Louisiana Waterthrush

Did you guess Louisiana Waterthrush?  I didn’t.  I guessed Northern Waterthrush, which supposedly is yellower than this one.  Based on pictures in the field guide and on Cornell’s website though, I’m still confused…  The songs are way different, though… but we never heard this one sing…

I did get this one right:
Baby Hermit Thrush
Hermit Thrush!  Yeah me.

This is the first Black-capped Chickadee I’ve seen in a mist net:
Black-capped Chickadee

I now know why the banders aren’t anxious to find them in the nets!  The poor little dear was hopelessly tangled.  But with infinite patience, Tom managed to get him out.

There were several American Redstarts in the nets… This male was very pretty:
American Redstart

Sometimes an ID pops into my head the moment I see a bird in the net, but then I doubt myself.  After checking and double-checking, I discovered I was right on this one:

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler.  Yeah me, again!

There were lots more birds, some of which I photographed, and others that got processed and released so fast that I couldn’t keep up.  One of the highlights, though, was a bird we couldn’t band:

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - Female

Tom isn’t licensed to band hummingbirds.  We brought her back anyway for photos, lessons, and to weigh her:  4 grams (0.141 ounces)!  Isn’t she so dear?

Thanks Tom, for all the great learning!

Kyle with Rose-breasted Grosbeak That's me - Banding the Gray Catbird


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