Migrants Trickling Through

The weather forecast called for thunderstorms and winds on Saturday night and ending by mid morning on Sunday. I made the call to delay our banding only to realize that the weather forecasters got it wrong (shocking):(. We got virtually no rain and the winds were not all that strong. As a result, we only caught a handful of migrants but our first bird was a gorgeous one – a male Black-throated Blue warbler. In addition, we caught 2 male indigo buntings of two different age classes and 2 great-crested flycatchers. While we waited between net runs there had to be at least 6 flycatchers calling and catching insects. It was like having them in surround sound!

Tomorrow is our last day of banding out on Caladesi Island. We are hoping that there are still migrants flowing through the state and ready to find our mist nets:). Stay tuned for the last installment of the Spring 2021 banding “chronicles” from CIBS (Caladesi Island Banding station).

Totals: 12 birds 7 Species 0 Recaptures

Second Year Male Black-throated Blue Warbler
Agitated Great-Crested Flycatcher
After Second Year Male Indigo Bunting
An excellent example of the molt limits in a male Second Year Indigo Bunting (dull feathers from last year)

Another Slow Day on Caladesi Island – April 18th

Unfortunately, the winds continue to be out of the south which pushes the migratory birds past the island. We put up our 19 nets by sunrise and hoped for the best. There was a front approaching but the winds gusting up to 12 mph didn’t help our cause. When the wind moves the nets (they are very fine) it makes them visible to the birds and, as a result, they avoid them. We did hear a lot more birds than the last time we were out on the island. Singing by Summer Tanagers, Eastern Towhees and even a Black and White Warbler was detected but not many found our nets.

All that told, we did have some nice variety to the species we did catch. We caught a total of 11 birds of 7 different species. We had 3 different warbler species, a female Summer Tanager, a female/young male Painted Bunting, the usual Gray Catbirds and 2 Red-eyed Vireos. One thing that was interesting about one of the vireos was that it had 3 small ticks on it. We tried to remove them but, in one case, it was too close to the eye. In all my years of banding birds, I had never seen that before. We are hopeful that as the migration progresses, we will have more migratory birds come our way:)

Not hard to see why these painted buntings are called “greenies”.
Red-eyed Vireo
Worm-eating Warbler
Female Summer Tanager
Large bill of a female Summer Tanager for eating large insects
Tick over the eye of a Red-eyed Vireo