Sunday, October 18, 2009

. . . and more migrant surprises!

Windy day today, but the migrants were still around. Got 20 birds today, including 2 recaptures (Black-capped Chickadees). Over the weekend here in town, 69 birds banded and 14 species - Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Field Sparrow, Eastern Phoebe, White-throated Sparrow, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, and two Hatch Year Female Tennessee Warblers!
The first two are of the Fox Sparrow - there are 18 sub-species divided into 3 or 4 distinct groups, depending on which book you read. From the Birds of North America, "Fox Sparrow populations vary in migratory distance and route; individuals nesting in the Sierra Nevada of California migrate only short distances, mostly altitudinally, while those from Alaska migrate long distances, with some traveling over open ocean. Populations also vary in their song types; while northern and eastern Fox Sparrow populations sing 1 or 2 song types each, western populations sing 3 or 4; commonly heard calls (contact notes) also vary geographically, differences largely correlating with the major groups." In other words, they are pretty cool.

This is one of the female Tennessee Warblers.

This is a Hatch Year male American Robin - check out the brownish feathers still on his crown!

And finally - here is why we call the Yellow-rumped Warblers "butter-butts."

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