We finally banded our 2,000th bird of the season, a beautiful adult Black-throated blue warbler. Some years we band hundreds of this species, but they have not yet swarmed our site this year and it is looking like they won’t since it is November already.
Cool fronts have finally arrived and the humidity has dropped so we are thankful for that. The main bulk of the Neotropical migrants have moved through already, and we are waiting to see if we can catch any wintering species in our last few days of banding. It was a good season for buntings, and this adult male Indigo is showing off his turquoise shoulders. Unlike the male Painted buntings that stay bright year round, the Indigo bunting males tone it down for the winter.
Hawk migration is happening right now over us, and two raptors found their way into our nets this week. Above is a young Broad-winged hawk and we have also captured a female Cooper’s hawk. Hawks tend to escape from the nets since the mesh is designed to capture smaller species, so we are always excited to catch one.
This Ovenbird is trying to be a Golden-winged warbler for Halloween. We have seen faint wingbars on this species before, but these are quite extreme.
October total: 1,247 birds of 46 species
- Gray Catbird: 225
- Black-throated blue warbler: 192
- Common yellowthroat: 164
- American redstart: 128
- Ovenbird: 84
- Painted bunting: 59
- Black & white warbler: 54
- Northern parula: 45
- Red-eyed vireo: 34
- White-eyed vireo: 33
The horror of huge face spiders and Gray catbirds. Scary stuff!