Great weather for banding today! There was a BioBlitz at Crosby Farms Park in St Paul. This is a great way to get a snapshot in time of the inventory of birds, invertebrates, plants, fungi and anything else living in the area. I helped out with the banding. We saw, as expected, the majority of birds were breeders in the area. They had broodpatches, cloacal protuberances (cover the kids's eyes and ears, but basically what makes a man, manly) and one even had the start of an egg forming in her body. We had three Indigo Buntings - all you need is a black velvet background for these guys, huh? You just didn't know how many shades of electric blue there could be. It is often hard to note some things unless the bird is in the hand - look at that bi-colored bill.
And we had three American Redstarts - two adult males, and one male who was hatched last year. He looks quite a bit different - note all the yellow and gray. I do like these birds - they are so tiny, but have a very long tail. Take a look at the rictal bristles, especially on that young male. It is a way for them to help detect their insects (food).