May Bird Banding at GCBO

Well we can say with assurance that there is a bumper crop of young birds so far this year. We caught lots of babies on Saturday. First up was this family of Carolina Wrens. The photo shows three youngsters with their mom (the rightmost bird). There was another young one but it got away before we could snap the photo. Yes, wrens are known for their ability to escape!


We also caught a young White-eyed Vireo with its mom. Notice in the photo below the white eye of the adult and the black eye of the youngster. Now you know where they get their name!


We were graced with six Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, three males and three females. In the photo below, a human youngster is letting one of them go.


We also caught this old man. He was originally banded as a hatch year bird on October 20, 2010. Now he’s all grown up and making babies of his own.


And finally, one more baby. This one is really cute! The young male Downy Woodpecker was really feisty and ready to be done with us!

youngDOWOwingsspread1 youngDOWOlookingatyou1 youngDOWOface1

Below is a summary of birds caught this month. To interpret this list you need to know a couple things. First, a hatch year bird is a bird that hatched this year. Second , a second year bird is a bird that hatched last year. Third, adult females of many birds and adult males of some birds develop a brood patch when they are nesting. This is an area of bare skin on their belly which helps to keep the eggs warm when they are incubating. Thus at this time of year, you can tell an adult birds by the presence of a brood patch and females from males by the size of the brood patch (females usually develop a larger one).

Mourning Dove – 1 new

Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 6 new (3 male, 3 female)

Downy Woodpecker – 1 hatch year

White-eyed Vireo – 3 new (2 hatch year, 1 female) + 2 recaps (both adult male)Carolina Chickadee – 3 new + 2 recaps

Tufted Titmouse – 2 recaps (both adult females with brood patches)

Carolina Wren – 5 new (4 hatch year, 1 adult female – probably the mama of the hatch year birds) + 2 recaps (both adult males)

Northern Cardinal – 5 new + 1 recap

Painted Bunting – 1 new (second year female)

Total = 25 new + 9 recaps


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