Today was the first day of RRBO's 16th fall banding season. Unfortunately, it was pretty breezy this morning, so I was only able to open a handful of our most protected nets. We have a strict weather policy that guides us as to when it's safe to open the nets. Young birds are especially vulnerable to getting wing sprains if they are caught in a net that is moving around a lot in a breeze.
And young birds are always the first order of business the opening days of a fall season. Today was no exception. Of the 18 birds that were captured this morning, only one, a robin, was an adult. The rest were youngsters, including 15 Gray Catbirds. This is our #1 species, with over 3200 banded since 1992 (nearly 40% are recaptured, many multiple times).
This is how it will go the rest of the week. I'll open different nets in various sections, and catch many of the resident birds. Then things will quiet down until migration begins in earnest.
Meanwhile, it's time to enjoy the catbirds!