Friday, May 20, 2011

Rose-breasted Mystery

This past banding session at Ritter was fantastic - Tennessee Warblers with faces full of apple blossom pollen, other warblers dripping from tree branches. And this Rose-breasted Grosbeak who almost put us into apoplexy. At first glance, he appeared to be a second year male, and fairly classic at that - brown worn primaries, yellow and spotting on the sides. But he was already banded - and in 2009 no less! As a second year bird! So - what is his story? Just a late bloomer? Individual or environmental factors delaying the plumage, or is this the "final product?"

Don't you love banding? More questions than answers!

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