We caught this Western scrubjay on our closing net run today. They general stay above the nets, and are pretty smart, so we don't catch many. Scrubjays are one of the study species here at Palo, so in addition to the usual silver band with a number on it, we fashioned it with some color bands, allowing the nest searchers/finders/gridders to identify the individual again, without having to recapture it.
With a couple of the color banded species we have to use pyropens to melt the plastic bands together so that the birds cannot pick them off with their strong bills
This bird was just beginning to go through its prebasic molt (the yearly replacement of feathers) and may be the first adult bird we've seen in this process this year...
Most of the birds that we are catching these days are hatch year birds, which means they were born within the last couple of months or so. Yesterday we got our first juvenile northern flicker, and today we've gotten three more, all from the same two nets, and all males.
The red mustache stripe tells you its a male
On this one you can see a white tip to the bill, something that we saw on two of the four, but did not notice on the others
Some of these young flickers can have a reddish wash to their crowns, something you will not see in adults
One of the most obvious traits of a very young bird is that every feather on its body is still growing in, like these tail feathers
This guy flew off, only to perch between two nets on this tree. He's still there right now, but I bet we find him in a net again soon.
We've been catching more, I went to Oakland, H.P. Roberts graduated, I missed another cooper's hawk that was caught here, we recovered a 7th GLS tag from a Swainson's thrush, I order an SLR and...
...few days ago we caught a Western Wood-Pewee here at Palo, which does happen frequently in the fall, during migration, but isn't too common during the breeding season, as they do not breed right here.
Smaller than an olive-sided, larger than an empid, with nice long primaries
Yesterday Amanda, Todd and I went out with one of PRBO's biologists who does spotted owl surveys around Marin county. We went to a site where we hoped to find a pair and their fledgling. We spent two hours searching, only to find the youngster post giving up.
Today Amanda and I had a really great day banding at Redwood Creek. We caught a total of 41 birds, with 16 species. The highlights were 2 barn swallows, a tree swallow, a black-headed grosbeak, a warbling vireo, and mix of juvenile birds! We also ran into a female common merganser with 4 chicks, shortly before peeking into the hummingbird nest I found the week before, which now has two cute little raisin-like nestlings in it.
Female black-headed grosbeak
Barn swallow #1
Barn swallow #1, female
Barn swallow #2, male
Barn swallow #2, awesome tail, and with a couple of retained primaries in there
Barn swallow secondaries, very cool heart shape, which you don't see in other birds