It’s June and it’s hot! But… the birds are still active in the morning and we managed to catch a few interesting things this month. We had two bird banding sessions this month, one to support our Summer Bird Camp for kids and our regular once a month banding on the third Saturday of the month for the public.
At the Summer Bird Camp banding we caught a new species for the site banding list. Our Conservation Science Director, Felipe Chavez just happened to run up on a Cattle Egret in the net before it was able to escape. Because the nets are made for small birds, large birds like a Cattle Egret can get out easily unless you are there to grab them right away. Good timing is everything!
Photo by Pete Romfh
Then at our regular bird banding last Saturday we caught another new species for the site banding list. Volunteer Tad Finnell walked up on a Yellow-crowned Night-heron feeding along the edge of a net and when it flew it went right into the net. Johnny on the spot Tad grabbed it before it got out. Here’s a photo of him holding it.
What a beautiful bird! We all enjoyed seeing it close up and managed to avoid that snapping bill before we set it free. We always have a few pairs of night-herons breeding here on the property but we’ve never managed to catch one before.
This month we had three interesting recaptures of banded birds. We recaught three adult male cardinals with old bands. One was originally banded in July 2008 as a young bird which makes him now 6 years old. The other two were originally banded in December 2009 and December 2010 as unknown age birds so we don’t know exactly how old they are but they are at least 5 and 4 years old respectively. We caught some very young cardinals, wrens, titmice, chickadees, and White-eyed Vireos so we know the bird breeding factory here at GCBO is cranking them out this year! And finally, our bluebirds are doing very well this year and are on their third clutch. The Lookingbills banded this third set of chicks (2 males and a female) about a week ago. They are probably already fledged. Hopefully the adult bluebirds will take a rest now!
Cattle Egret – 1 new
Yellow-crowned Night-heron – 1 new
Ruby-throated Hummingbird – 1 new (male)
White-eyed Vireo – 1 new + 1 recap
Carolina Chickadee – 2 new
Tufted Titmouse – 4 new
Carolina Wren – 3 new + 1 recap
Eastern Bluebird – 3 new
Northern Cardinal – 14 new + 8 recap
Total – 30 new + 10 recap = 40 total