Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day 4: Cat(bird) and (tit)Mouse

Today's banding was at the forest loop of the ecological station. On one of our first rounds I spotted a catbird in a net. Something seemed wrong though, because it wasn't calling or struggling in the net.
I saw her open her eyes for the last time, but she had been dying before she flew into the net.

Dead catbird to be made into a study skin

Something had given her a head injury. Fortunately the death was not caused by the mist net and there was nothing we could have done with it.
The catbird will be made into a study skin at some point this summer. Bishop is hoping to let Krista and I follow along in the preparation process with an additional birds already dead and stored at the college.
The rest of the day went better. We caught our first baby of the year.

Juvenile tufted titmouse

Today we also heard a pileated woodpecker and a yellow-bellied sapsucker. You can identify woodpeckers by the sound of their drumming. Pileated is low and speeds up. Sapsuckers have a sort of morse code drum. 
 I took a crack at processing a catbird. Beyond determining the sex, it was tricky and I need to read up more on aging birds.
We had a heaping portion of thrushes today: mostly robins and wood thrushes. Our first veery of the year was caught as well.


Today I met a fearsome, pecking red-eyed vireo; her and her mate were caught in the same net.

Red-eyed vireo
Thanks to Krista Botting for all pictures below the catbird

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