It amazes me how small the world can seem sometimes, and how much these computers we rely on each day can help reduce the miles. Banding is underway at RRBO and though I’m not there doing the actual fieldwork for this migration, the administrative tasks, report-filing, website maintenance and daily communication with the current bander-in-charge, Cailin Fitzpatrick, makes it seem like I’m there.
The season started with the usual common winter birds – sparrows, blackbirds, titmice, and in Cailin’s own words, “way more black-capped chickadees than necessary.” Chickadees tend to gather as much net as possible in their feet and weave intricate patterns with it while they bite and hammer at the fingers attempting to quickly and delicately extract them from the net. But all things considered, fair is fair….
A very nice catch was a sharp-shinned hawk, only the second hawk to be banded at RRBO. In September of 2006, a migrating broadwinged hawk landed in the nets after he snagged a garter snake on the ground in the net lane. I wrote about it in this post.
A Brewster’s warbler (cross between a golden-winged and a blue-winged warbler) was among the first migrants. We’ve banded only one golden-winged, though several pass through our primary netting sites each spring. We’re hoping the habitat there will attract some breeding golden-wingeds in the near future.