Spring Migration Monitoring: April 6 & 7

Golden-crowned Kinglet by Brett Tryon

April 6

Thankfully the weather forecast was wrong on Wednesday (no big surprise) and instead of strong winds and rain, we had a nice morning with some new migrants on our doorstep. Several new species were recorded:

Caspian Tern
Belted Kingfisher
Hermit Thrush
Pied-billed Grebe
Northern Cardinal
Lesser Scaup

Our banding total was our highest to date, with 18 birds banded:

Eastern Phoebe: 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet: 8
American Robin: 2
American Tree Sparrow: 4
Song Sparrow: 2
Dark-eyed Junco: 1


Black-capped Chickadee: 1
Song Sparrow: 1

April 7

Thursday was very foggy and although you would expect more birds to fly in the nets because of reduced visibility, we had a very slow day. It wasn't even possible to look at ducks on the lake until later in the morning when the fog cleared.

The highlight of the day was when I was taking a Song Sparrow out of the net. It was chipping noisily and suddenly some curious birds showed up. Something scurried past me along the ground, and by the way it was moving it seemed more like a rodent than a bird. Then it hopped up on a branch and I realized that it was another Song Sparrow, puffed up and doing a broken wing display! It was clearly trying to convince me that it was an easy meal in order to lure me away from its friend. This is something that we know parent birds do to defend their offspring, but not something you would expect from a bird that is not even nesting yet.

Birds Banded:

Brown Creeper: 1
American Robin: 2
Song Sparrow: 1

Birds Recaptured:

Golden-crowned Kinglet: 1
Black-capped Chickadee: 1