Sunday, May 17, 2009

Ritter Farm May 17

I started out the morning with gloves on. Did I mention it was May 17? Even for MN, that is terribly wrong. However, getting some great birds in the nets at Ritter Farm sure helps warm you up. That, and walking a lot to check the nets. It also got up to almost 80, and I did get a sunburn for the day.

Here is a great bird. Fellow bander Roger promised one of these - a Blue-winged Warbler. We got it seven minutes before the time we were scheduled to close up. No living with this guy now.

Also got both sexes of Common Yellowthroat. Banding sure teaches you a lot. The feather definition on this species is hard to see. This species is often so close to the ground, near water, and hard to find in the reeds. As far as that goes - any warbler at all is usually tough to appreciate. More often than not, you get a nice view of their undercarriage and that is about all.

Being interested in birds - and bird banding - has made me really interested in weather patterns. There is a huge link to what is going on with weather fronts, and what kinds of migration movement you can see and expect. NEXRAD radar is one way we can "see" some of the migrations that happen at night. We can tell approximately how many birds are moving, and where. We can see how some will travel over water at night, and then towards daylight, move back over land to rest and forage. It is good information for habitat or other planning around the migration paths. Here is a neat tutorial on NEXRAD.

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