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.
Not 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.