Last Thursday marked the second day of banding for WVWA’s MAPS station. With cool temperatures, a fair amount of cloud cover, and little wind, the conditions were nearly perfect for mist-netting.
But perhaps more essential to success was the fact that I brought munchkins.
How could it not be a great day?!
Our numbers were very similar to the first time around, with 28 birds caught across 11 species (that’s one more bird and one more species than last time! Hooray!). And while it’s always great to catch new birds, this time it was also fun to catch a few that were banded during the last session.
Old friends, you might call them. 🙂
Here’s what we caught:
The Brown Thrashers and Common Yellowthroats may have eluded us this time, but we had three new species that were not caught before: American Goldfinch, House Finch, and *prepare yourself* Barn Swallow. After getting used to seeing mostly Catbirds and Song Sparrows, finding something new in the net is a magical thing. And a Barn Swallow?!
Alright enough excitement. Time for pictures.
To break up the day around mid-morning (always welcome), we had a visit from WVWA’s Trail Stewards, Gwen and Steve Bryant. As the Trail Stewards for Crossways Preserve, Gwen and Steve volunteer their time and often walk the trails at Crossways, pruning and keeping things in shipshape, and letting us know of anything that needs attention (for more info on our Trail Stewards program, click here). They also monitored the Bluebird nest boxes we have on the preserve, checking them weekly (the nestlings from one box have recently successfully fledged!).
And here is probably – wait, what am I saying?! – definitely the best capture of the day: a vibrantly-colored Barn Swallow!!
And so another successful day of banding had come to a close. 🙂
Hopefully this week we’ll catch the Eastern Towhees, Yellow Warblers, and male Red-winged Blackbirds that have been taunting us from every corner of the station! Fingers crossed.