Swainson’s Warbler Steals the Show

Although it was another slow day of bird banding in hammock Park, we did have one very nice bird – a Swainson’s Warbler 🙂

We had a total of 12 birds with 5 of them recaptures. One of the recaptured Ovenbirds we had initially banded last week. It had lost one gram in weight so I wonder if it might be sticking around for the winter.

The Swainson’s is probably heading down to the West Indies to spend the winter. It had one small, white feather on the crown of it’s head. This is only the 11th we have caught in 7 years and only the first one in the fall!

We are hoping for a cool front at the end of next week to push down more birds.

Banding Totals:

Swainson’s Warbler – 1

Ovenbird – 4 (2 recaptures)

Common Yellow-throat – 1

N. Cardinal – 2 (1 recapture)

Carolina Wren – 3 (2 recaptures)

Blue Jay – 1

Total: 12 birds

Species: 6

Head shot of the “star” of the day

Close-up of the one white feather on crown

Head shot of a female Common Yellow-throat

Young hatch year male Cardinal with his dull beak

Notice the new flight feather molting in.

Another Slow, Hot Day in Hammock Park

Despite the forecast calling for some overnight rain, it did not come.  During migration the cold fronts from the north push the migrants through Florida.  There were some birds around but most of them did not find our nets.  We had the same total number of birds as last week (15 birds) with 4 of them recaptures.

We did catch 2 young Blue Jays which don’t usually stay in the nets.  We rarely catch them a second time since they are so intelligent.

With the larger birds, it is necessary to use the “ice cream cone” grip.  Blue Jays and Brown Thrashers require this grip due to their much stronger legs.  The young blue jays lack black bars on their primary coverts which they will get when they molt into adult plumage.

We picked up some more White-eyed Vireos and another Red-eyed Vireo which is always nice.  For the few visitors that braved the heat, it was a rare opportunity to compare the two species side by side.  I really like getting a close-up view of the eyes on these birds.


Given how slow it was we were able to experiment with my new spring scale for the larger birds.  We did some comparisons to check the accuracy (it was off by 5 grams) which was interesting.  Also, the volunteers were able to “chill” in the hammock a bit between net runs!  We are hoping for cooler air and more birds next Sunday!


Banding Totals – September 23rd:

White-eyed Vireo – 4

Red-eyed Vireo – 1

Ovenbirds – 4 (2 Recaptures)

N. Cardinal – 2 (1 Recapture)

Carolina Wren – 1

Blue Jay – 2

Brown Thrasher – 1

Totals:  15 Birds                   6 Species