Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Blessing of birds

An incredible bird banding weekend has just passed, one that will probably not be encountered again for at least a few years. In two days the crew banded 88 birds of 27 species. Throw in 3 recaptures and we finished with 91 birds of 28 species, 44 of 20 at Carver Park and 47 of 15 at Ritter Farm. Two of those species I had not banded before (the last on the list below). The birds were everywhere, sort of our "manna from heaven." The better sight was most of the birds having very healthy amounts of fat stored for their next leg of migration. Between the bugs and the buds, birds here in eastern Minnesota seem to be doing much better.

Along the way I met my now-retired bird banding mentor (Kathy Heidel), a former soccer player (Stewart Jump), a former co-worker and his wife (Jim and Peg Hassett), and some VIPs of the City of Lakeville (Patty Ruedy, Steve Michaud, Mayor Holly Dahl). I think we made a good impression at Lakeville's bird festival today, but I leave that to others to say for sure.

One last item to note about the birds: many of them today had yellow pollen on their lores, apparently from them taking nectar and bugs from the old Ritter plum orchard. Another good reason to have flowering fruit trees in the yard!

The species list:
American Redstart
Wilson's Warbler
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Tennessee Warbler (18 today, none yesterday!)
Common Yellowthroat
Black-and-White Warbler (1 today, 11 yesterday!)
Least Flycatcher
House Wren
Black-capped Chickadee (1 recapture only)
Yellow Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler
(Western) Palm Warbler
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
American Goldfinch
White-breasted Nuthatch
Song Sparrow
Swainson's Thrush
White-throated Sparrow
Brown-headed Cowbird
Cedar Waxwing
Gray Catbird
Red-winged Blackbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Hairy Woodpecker
American Robin
Orchard Oriole
Black-billed Cuckoo

Orchard Oriole
Black-billed Cuckoo

Many thanks to great volunteers/friends Susie and Jessi Henderson for the photos!


Tom said...

Very cool!! I miss our songbird banding sessions. We banded YBCU in Mexico along the San Pedro. Keep up the good work!


Scott Taylor said...

Photos from the day are here, and I did get shots of warblers hanging on the plum trees (upside down even) apparently going for the nectar.

MarkN said...

Scott -- Many thanks for the link to some great photos! Hope you can make it to another program. I've linked down below to your blog. -- Mark