As Promised…Pretty Birds!

The fall migration banding season technically started Aug. 1st, but we probably won’t be seeing many migrants until later in the month. The first week or two of August seems to be a resting period and it’s usually fairly quiet. This morning was no exception, as we only caught eight birds in a three-hour session. But what good birds they were!


A second-year male scarlet tanager was one of the first birds caught. Apologies for the slightly blurred photo, but this bird would have none of sitting still , so we’re slightly out-of-focus. I wanted to post the photo anyway so you could see the brilliant color of this bird, as well as the green feathers mixed in the body plumage that identified this as a second-year. The green body feathers will eventually be replaced by scarlet.

TANAGERFNot so with this female scarlet tanager, who will always be greenish yellow.

Though we also caught a female this morning, this particular photo is one from a bird we banded last year.

Females are much more docile in the hand than the males – but either one won’t hesitate to nip if they have the chance.

The other big biter we had this morning was an immature male cardinal, who also did not want any part of the camera. You’ll notice hatching year cardinals have brown beaks. And they use them.


We caught our first wood thrush in a very long time, and a swainson’s thrush. Maybe the birds are starting to move after all….

The cutie of the day was this molting northern parula warbler. A little disheveled perhaps, but a cutie nevertheless.


Posted in Birds. 5 Comments »

5 Responses to “As Promised…Pretty Birds!”

  1. KGMom Says:

    Oh I do like the little warbler–I love the slightly disheveled look a molting bird has. And I love how spunky they can be. Birds are so little compared to our human giganticness, but that doesn’t stop them from protesting for all they are worth.

  2. mon@rch Says:

    Very perfect for sure and love the TANAGER shot! I know exactly how you fell with the wiggling birdies! The Parula shot is great also! BRAVO!

  3. Ruth Says:

    Hard to believe you are getting ready for fall migration. It seems like the birds just arrived. I saw one tanager this year, so briefly I missed any details. Your pictures are great!

  4. cdejarnatt Says:

    I am a backyard bird watcher and appreciate the photos you are sharing. Thanks so much!


  5. Larry Says:

    Love the photos!-I don’t think I’ve seen a Tanager photo on Tom’s blog.-just kidding Tom.

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