Migrants Have Arrived!

After a very slow week two Sundays ago, there was a lot more bird activity on the island. After we set up the nets we could see small birds flowing across the tops of the live oak trees (& often over the nets).

The first net run yielded a Swainson’s Warbler and a female Eastern Towhee. We had a steady amount of birds throughout the morning and ended the day with 8 birds in two, side by side nets.

We banded 23 birds of 13 different species plus had 1 recaptured Northern Cardinal.

These included:

White-eyed Vireo (7); Common Yellowthroat (3); Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2); Hooded Warbler (2); Northern Cardinal (2); Red-eyed Vireo (1); Swainson’s Warbler (1); Pine Warbler (1); Prairie Warbler (1); Gray Catbird (1); Swainson’s Thrush (1); Eastern Towhee (1)

With a cold front arriving this week, many more migratory birds will be passing through this weekend:)

Hatch Year Prairie Warbler
Hatch Year Swainson’s Warbler
Hatch Year Cardinal going through active molt
Female Eastern Towhee molting in new primary feathers
Sunrise over Caladesi Island State Park
A mini-rainbow over the pine flat woods

Very Slow Start to the Season

After having to reschedule our first day of banding, we finally got out to the island for some banding. Unfortunately, the birds didn’t get the invitation. After getting out there and setting up 16 nets we only captured and banded one bird. This male After Hatch Year (AHY) Yellow-throated Warbler was caught in our second canopy net right behind the banding station. Bert had just repaired the ropes that were melted in the parks spring/summer prescribed burn.

There were very few birds around and the local resident birds were scarce. There was a breeze that came up in the afternoon to a small craft advisory making it tough to get off of the island. The ferry cancelled service and luckily the park gave us a lift off of the island. We are hoping for a much more productive day tomorrow so stay tuned:)

Checking the wing for a molt limit.

Close up of the primary coverts

Even the bird’s crown had black in it.