GOOD AND BAD at SWAT!
Did you ever have one of these days when many good things happen but then you have some bad things happen! Today is just one of those days at the SWAT MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station.
Me Banding the Scarlet Tanager (Photo by Young Naturalist J)
GOOD, It was at 9:30 and was just before what I call the 10 o’clock rush!!! In net five I noticed that we had 4 birds and I yelled “we’ve got birdies”!! I started to extract the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker from the net, while Young Naturalist J worked his way down towards the Blue-winged Warbler. I could see the American Redstart but really didn’t get a good look at that 4th bird. I guess I had assumed it was another Redstart or Common Yellowthroat . . . . but I suddenly hear, “ooo ooo good bird”! I hear with my bionomic hearing the words mumbled “SCARLET TANAGER”!! Guess what Young Naturalist J was extracting from the net?? We called back on the radio this amazing bird and for some reason, NO ONE BELIEVED ME>?? Although, I ended up with the last laugh since I was the one who ended up banding the bird. It was such an awesome bird and a real highlight of the day for the whole group!
Group Photo of everyone!
Young Naturalist J was my field assistant for the day and his parents also assisted. We had another wonderful surprise when a family showed up to the station who hasn’t visited the banding station in about 3 years. It is amazing how the kids look so much older than how I remember them so many years ago.
Samantha with an American Robin
A Bluebird drawing that Samantha did for me on Aug 15th 2002.
We ended up capturing 26 individuals and 18 different species. We were able to place 18 new bands on their legs and had some previously banded birds from prior month. These numbers were not perfect but good enough for me.
BAD, the Longtailed Weasel struck again with another catbird but this time in net number one. I closed up that net and now very concerned that it has found another net of mine. As we were closing all of the nets at the noon hour we found two Song Sparrows in net three that this same weasel got. Ugg, I have already contact the Institute of Bird Populations in what they recommend me doing for future years. At this point I will be cancelling my last SWAT banding session on the 3rd of August. This has been such a wonderful banding site and would really hate seeing the station totally closed because of this weasel but, safety of the birds is our number one priority. !!