Good Things Come to Those Who Wait (or the Easter Bunny Visits Hammock Park)

After two really bad weeks we finally got lucky with the weather lottery. A lingering cold front that brought rain and windy conditions on Friday and Saturday yielded a wonderful Sunday morning! We caught over 40 birds before 10:30 am before it really slowed down. We caught a number of Indigo Buntings, thrushes (wood, Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked), and some really nice warblers. The warblers included Common Yellow throat, Black-throated blue (2 males), Louisiana Waterthrush, Ovenbirds, Worm-eating, and a pair of Kentuckys. The highlight came as we were closing the nets. Volunteers Anastasia and Eva came back to the stations with a Kentucky Warbler and a male Painted Bunting! What an exciting end to the morning. The colors on the male Painted Bunting are truly indescribable. From the red eye ring to the violet head and the red chest/belly this bird is really spectacular. Now I guess I won’t have to crash a children’s Easter egg hunt to get my color “fix”.

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Bander Jim McGinity appreciating a male Painted Bunting

Male Kentucky Warbler resting before taking off

Male Kentucky Warbler resting before taking off

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Volunteers Tiffanie & Anastasia appreciating the male Painted Bunting’s colors

Volunteers Alex & Anastasia bringing a major haul of bird bags

Volunteers Alex & Anastasia bringing a major haul of bird bags

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Just When You Thought it Couldn’t Get Any Worse . . .

I am usually an optimistic person but last Sunday was enough to test even the most optimistic person’s patience. The weather was pretty good with a light breeze but the Hammock was pretty quiet. We had all 10 nets up again but we were only able to net 5 birds. It was so slow that I decided to close early. The five birds were:
Gray Catbird
Common Yellowthroat
Worm-eating Warbler
Northern Cardinal
Mourning Dove

This was the first time we have caught a Mourning Dove since they usually don’t get caught in the net (but leave a bunch of feathers behind). It was cool to be able to examine it up close. The other highlight of the morning was good sightings of a male Summer Tanager right over net #10.

With the rainy/windy weather at the end of this week into Saturday there is a chance that the birding/banding could be quite good on Easter Sunday. Maybe the sun will rise to many colorful birds waiting to be caught in the Hammock?