Well, this week was nothing to write home about. Only 39 new birds were banded in 3.5 mornings of banding. It has been dry, dry, dry in the banding area. While it's nice not to get wet feet or be bothered by mosquitoes, foraging opportunities are reduced in a drought. Fruit development is a bit delayed as well. With rain forecast this morning, I walked the standard survey route rather than open the nets. There was more insect activity near the Rouge River and by Fairlane Lake, although overall it was still quiet. I'll be periodically updating the running totals for the banding season in the right sidebar.
I recaptured both of the molting Tennessee Warblers from last week, and their feathers are coming along nicely. My only new migrant was an Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla), a personal favorite.
There are several species that we capture that we release unbanded. One is Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris). A special permit is required to band hummingbirds, and a project involving them is outside my focus of research. This time of year, most of the ones we catch are immature/female-plumaged birds.
The one above was in fresh plumage; I think most of the adults will still be molting, like the adult male below. He was a bit bedraggled looking.
Once again, Gray Catbirds made up most of the catch, and represent half of all the birds handled so far this fall. The pace has been a little slower than most of our fall season starts, but should pick up soon. I'll be back at the nets after the holiday weekend.