Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Last Day of Fall Bird Banding

Since we caught an American Tree Sparrow five days ago, it was time to consider closing for the season. Today was the day, November 2nd.  When it got warm enough, we opened the nets and started catching birds.  With it being a good day, we banded - 10 American Goldfinches, 5 Oregon Juncos, 2 Slate-colored Juncos, 1 Blue Jay, 2 Black-capped Chickadees, and 1 Northern Mockingbird. 

Other birds we saw in the area were a Townsend's Solitaire, lots of Red-winged Blackbirds flying over, a flyover Ring-billed Gull, Black-billed Magpies, House Finches, and a Spotted Towhee.

Twelve Meter Mist Net

American Goldfinch

American Goldfinch

Blue Jay

Measuring the Blue Jay's leg to see what band size it would take.

Weighing Blue Jay.  With most birds, you have to weigh them in something that they can't escape, such as a tube.  With Blue Jays and some other kinds of birds, you can lay them on their back, and they stay because they become disoriented. 

Releasing the Blue Jay

This Northern Mockingbird has been in the gulch for the entire fall banding season.  It was first caught and banded two months ago when it was looking ragged, as it was in serious molt.  Now, it is looking fantastic!

Photo of the same Northern Mockingbird two months ago.
Zoom in and you will see how many feathers are in sheath.

Taking down nets for the winter.

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