I'm banding again! That's ringing in case you're reading in European. I've set up a small banding station here at the homestead and I'll soon be starting a wintering sparrow project not far from here. Hopefully next spring and fall I'll be able to band some migrant shorebirds at the refuge. For the time being I'm opening a couple of nets in the front yard. Hopefully I'll catch a few Baltimore Orioles, when they finally arrive, as well as some other cool wintering stuff like Orange-crowned Warbler, Dark-eyed Junco and Brow Creeper that winter in our neighborhood every year. For now there aren't many birds visiting the half acre. There is plenty of natural food available and inexplicably few migrants have come down from the canopy to take a bath/drink at the bird mister. The beauty berry crop was poor as well, probably due to the drought we've had. Been a terrible fall for migrants in our neighborhood. One species that seems to be in plentiful supply is the Northern Cardinal. You certainly know when you're extracting one of these guys from a mist net! That powerful beak delivers quite a nip. Anyway, in the last 8 days I've banded 12 Northern Cardinals in the yard and I just looked out the window and saw 6 at our feeders. Not one of them was banded! I think my record count was in the high 20s some years ago, all were visible from one living room window! The most exciting bird I've caught thus far was a female Downy Woodpecker. Other species banded include Tufted Titmouse and Eastern Towhee.
|processing a female cardinal|
|Even though they're very common, they are a beautiful bird aren't they?|