My apologies for neglecting to inform you of our spring season sooner!
It was quite a different time for our spring banding season this year. We were able to accommodate 2 volunteers a day for the start of the season but then Health restrictions prevented that for the last 2 weeks. This year we started spring banding a little later than usual. The first two weeks of May are usually pretty dull and not very productive when it comes to mist netting, so we decided to push it back.
The major highlight for spring was catching a Female Black-billed Magpie! Normally larger birds don’t get caught in the nets, they’re able to get themselves out. But we quickly realized the reason we caught her. The pair had a nest directly beside one of our nets. Once we noticed that we did not open that net for the rest of the season to avoid disrupting them.
Of course, another highlight of Spring banding is the breeding plumage. The variety of warbler species was in short supply this year, but we did catch a few that were a treat. The species we spent the most amount of time with was Yellow-headed Blackbirds, we caught 43!
All in all, it was an interesting spring banding season. The last day was June 6th and we ended up with 185 birds caught from 30 different species and 30 recaptures.
We took a month break and started up fall banding July 12. So far, it’s been a whirlwind. We’ve had quite a few moderately busy days with a great variety of species. There have been quite a few little surprises passing through as well. Some of the early birds were Purple Finches, a Warbling Vireo, Ovenbird, Nashville Warblers, and a Baltimore Oriole! We also spotted a Rose-breasted Grosbeak hanging around. We’ve also already caught our first Northern Waterthrush of the year. Eeeek! Fall is here!! It’s pretty hard to believe the seasons are already changing with the temperatures we have been experiencing. We’ve had to end early almost every day of banding due to the heat. One morning it was 25 degrees at 6 a.m. Soon though we will be missing the heat. Best to enjoy it while it lasts.
Now that it’s fall, we’ve rescheduled our Great Canadian Birdathon birding day. With restrictions easing we can gather as a group and set out to find as many species as we can. We will be birding on August 14th. We are hoping to raise enough funds to support a spring banding season next year and to help Birds Canada help birds! Please consider making a donation (we’re not too far away from reaching our goal :D), joining our team, joining a team, or birding individually to support bird research and conservation across Canada. Thanks so much for your support. Check out our team page: https://www.canadahelps.org/me/6GgTDtJ.
I’ll report back with some more great catches soon!