Unwanted Visitor at the SWAT site!
A very light colored juvenile Downy Woodpecker
We had a wonderful day banding birds over at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station today. We had a family visit who has been camping here in the park for a very long time, two couples from buffalo make it down, Young Naturalist C (who was the Banding Assistant for the day) and her sister Young Naturalist E visit the banding station. But, you ask, “who was the unwanted visitor??”!! I will get to it . . . . I promise!!
Our Group Banding
We had a wonderful day with 33 individual birds caught. We captured 14 different species but only able to band 13 species because my permit doesn’t allow me to band Ruby-throated Hummingbirds. We had 9 individuals recaptured from our previous weeks, 21 individuals who had bands placed on their legs and 2 individuals who we had to release without a band on their leg. I am sad to report that we did have a casualty in net 7 with the unwanted visitor . . . . see video below!!
Something didn’t seem right when I approached net 7. The Gray Catbird on the bottom trammel was very tangled and not how I normally see very tangled birds! If you remember the video of me removing the Catbird (from a few days ago) . . . . well . . . . this bird was not behaving (at all) this way. I quickly started removing the bird and I just started wondering, “how will I explain to 4 kids and 6 adults that the rare . . . . unexpected . . . . just happened”?? Then (as you can see in my video above) the unwanted visitor (a Longtail Weasel) started putting on a show for us. We were all standing where its prey was located and it wanted what was in my hand. The group started taking pictures and then it left the area because it finally realized that I was not going to give it up. We were now behind schedule and quickly closed the net up (so it didn’t get any other experiences in finding birds in the nets and keep all other birds in the area safe). This really puts a damper on the great day we were having.
Ruby-throated Hummingbird being released!
Mr. and Mrs. Magnolia Warbler
After banding Young Naturalist C and I joined up with an insect class who was having a field trip here in Allegany State Park. I was asked to try to find and point out some butterflies to the group. One of my favorite butterfly locations was very dry in the number of butterflies out and about (except the Red Admirals). Sorry everyone! We still had a great time, as you can see from the photos!
The RTPI group looking at aquatic insects.
A Damselfly species on my butterfly net.
Isn’t this a tiny Dusky Salamander?? That is my thumb with it!!
Taking a day off from work to enjoy nature can really be exhausting sometimes! It will be nice going back to work tomorrow and do my normal scheduled things I am always doing!! Thanks everyone for your kind Blogaversary comments!