Sunday, October 31, 2010


Occasionally, after the sun disappears behind the western hill, the yipping and yapping of coyotes fills the air.  One or two times per year, we actually see them passing by our back door.  Once they notice us watching them, they quickly trot away.

This coyote passed through our property on Halloween morning, 2010.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

More Fall Bird Banding

Due to freezing early morning temperatures, we waited a couple hours before opening any nets at the gulch.  At 9:30 AM, we opened half of the nets, and the first bird caught and banded was an American Tree Sparrow, a sign of approaching winter.

Banding American Tree Sparrows is a sign that 
the fall banding season will soon be over.

Brown Creepers are very exciting to see up close!  We caught and banded two today.

Brown Creepers

Another nice treat was this Mountain Chickadee.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Bird Banding Surprises

Another day of banding awaited us on an early Monday morning.  As the sun peaked above the horizon, we opened the mist nets on the east side of the gulch at a private local banding station under a mostly cloudy sky.  At the “soggies” (a lane of three twelve meter nets), I caught a quick glimpse of a White-throated Sparrow, which we captured in the net later in the day.

This White-throated Sparrow we caught was previously banded last Saturday.

After a few dry net runs, a Sharp-shinned Hawk flew through the gulch flushing lots of birds into the nets.  Thanks to the Sharpie, one of the birds caught was a Northern Parula, a rare migrant warbler!

This beautiful Northern Parula was an unusual catch.

We ended the day with a big surprise.  The Sharp-shinned Hawk managed to get in one of the western nets!

Immature Male Sharp-shinned Hawk.

The other, more usual birds we banded that day were Black-capped Chickadees, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbers, an Orange-crowned Warbler, Song Sparrows, White-crowned Sparrows, a Spotted Towhee, Dark-eyed Juncos, American Goldfinches, and a House Finch.