My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Banding in the Magee Marsh Wildlife Area

Bay-breasted Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler (CHECK)

Friday morning Young Naturalist J and I were invited to join the Black Swamp Bird Observatory’s “Navarre Marsh Migration Monitoring Banding Station” in Oak Harbor, Ohio. Last Sunday when we made the first plans to visit . . . . we never realized that this station was located on a National Wildlife Refuge and the hoops that we needed to go through to visit the banding station. I guess driving behind a Nuclear Power Plant to band birds requires some security issues to contend with. Without a doubt this adventure was well worth the hoopla because I ended up with 10 year birds (1 being a lifer) and Young Naturalist J ended up with 3 lifers on this trip!

Magee Marsh Wildlife Area Nuclear Plant
Magee Marsh Wildlife Area and the Nuclear Plant

Lucky we didn’t have any rain at the station but we had winds from the north coming off the lake. Not the best day for bird migrating (not big numbers of individuals) but we did have a nice diversity of species that made an appearance. Yep . . . we observed the staff band 17 species of warblers and many other amazing birds (which I will post soon)!!! Obviously I am not going to post all my pictures in one post . . . I will try milking this into 3 different post!! Below were my year/lifer warblers that I had at the banding station and I promise more great birds (and stories) to come soon!

Prothonotary Warbler
Prothonotary Warbler (CHECK – LIFER)

Blackpoll Warbler
Blackpoll Warbler (CHECK)

Tennessee Warbler
Tennessee Warbler (CHECK)

Black and White Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler (CHECK) – Actually saw my first at PISP in Eire

Mourning Warbler
Mourning Warbler (CHECK)

Nashville Warbler pair
Nashville Warbler (CHECK)

Cape May Warbler
Cape May Warbler (CHECK)

Black-throated Blue Warbler pair
Black-throated Blue Warbler (CHECK)

Chestnut-sided Warbler
Chestnut-sided Warbler (CHECK)

I would like to thank all of the staff at the Black Swamp Bird Observatory for all their help in allowing us access into the banding station and the education/research that they are doing in the area.

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28 responses

  1. Tom


    Beautiful images! You were in my territory! I botanize along the lakeshore in Ohio all the time. Looks like you had a fantastic time.


    11 May 2008 at 11:22 am

  2. Our pastor’s wife told me yesterday that she had a Cape May Warbler in her yard. I had never heard of that one…and now I see it here! All these birds are so beautiful! What a great day for you guys! I look forward to reading and seeing more about your adventures.

    11 May 2008 at 11:45 am

  3. Marg

    Awesome-can’t wait to see more! Glad you guys had such a fabulous time-those shots are stunning!

    11 May 2008 at 1:00 pm

  4. Great, Great photos. Anyone can say a”NWR” and I am ready to go. We should take advantage of these more.

    11 May 2008 at 3:53 pm

  5. Tom;
    Thanks for sharing your photos of these Warblers. Many of us will probably never see them on our own.
    Super images !

    11 May 2008 at 5:04 pm

  6. Oh. My. Warbler heaven. We’ve died and gone to warbler heaven. :c) Indeed, do spread these out in several posts, otherwise I may just swoon. Glorious!

    11 May 2008 at 5:21 pm

  7. Bo

    These are not only awesome birds, but the photos are pretty awesome to. I love the one of the two birds, one held in each hand.

    11 May 2008 at 5:22 pm

  8. What a fabulous and enviable day!! Brilliant shots Tom… they are all so beautiful. And honestly almost all of them would have been lifers for me. The only exception (I think…) is the Nashville;

    Nashville Warbler

    The rest I’ve never seen… (yet hopefully) Cuz I ran into this guy two weeks ago and Nash seems like a match.

    11 May 2008 at 5:39 pm

  9. Pam

    Wow, Tom, those are some awesome birds! I can’t wait to see the rest of them! What a great trip you guys had!

    11 May 2008 at 7:03 pm

  10. What beautiful variety there is among the warblers. I have seen only seen 3 different ones this year and hopefully these great pictures will help me identify more.

    11 May 2008 at 7:24 pm

  11. Oh, I’m so jealous that we didn’t get that many neat warblers at Presque Isle. What a great experience to see so many colorful little birds in one place. But I did get to see the black and white warbler with the binoculars. I’m glad you guys had such fun.

    11 May 2008 at 7:37 pm

  12. Great shots Tom, I actually think I have a warbler nesting in our large Sycamore tree in our back yard, I am going to really try to find out tomorrow I will let you know !!

    11 May 2008 at 8:11 pm

  13. Lisa at Greenbow

    I realize that Mourning Warbler is the most uncommmon but I just love Black-throated Blue warblers.

    11 May 2008 at 9:32 pm

  14. Ooh, your Prothonotary has had his head in that orangy flower! (Can’t remember what it’s called!)

    And wow, a Mourning! I’ve never seen one of those.

    You lucky dog! 🙂

    11 May 2008 at 9:49 pm

  15. @ Tom – thanks and what a wonderful to be out looking for plants! Wish I knew you were in that area . . . we could have met up!
    @ Rondi – how amazing! Thanks and Ironically Young Naturalist J called me today telling me he had one in his yard!
    @ Marg – thanks and I have many other great shots to share!
    @ Troy – thanks and I wish I had more in my area to enjoy!
    @ Becky- thanks and many times I never to get to see them unless they are up high in the tree tops!
    @ Jayne – exactly and you should have seen our faces with all these great warblers around!
    @ Bo – thanks and I tried to make the shots great! Actually young naturalist J also captured some stunning shots!
    @ aullori – thanks and we had Nashvilles on Saturday also!
    @ Pam – thanks and I have some great ones to post here soon!
    @ Ruth – Thanks and I was very excited to see such great birds!
    @ Linda – we did do the adventure out to see these guys but it was a blast for sure! Thanks
    @ Bernie – thanks and can’t wait to hear what warbler you are seeing!
    @ Lisa – Thanks and we actually have them nesting in our area so not the most uncommon to my area! But thanks and the BTBW’s are great birds!
    @ Rurality – thanks and the Prothonotary was such an amazing bird! Something that must have come directly from the sun!!

    11 May 2008 at 10:02 pm

  16. Wow, that’s amazing! Have you been to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge? It’s down past Meadville off I-79. I picked up a brochure of theirs in my travels this weekend and am definitely heading there soon.

    11 May 2008 at 10:40 pm

  17. I am addicted to your bird banding photos! Can’t get enough. Your tennesee warbler looked sweet, the black & white warbler looked a little upset – but very handsome.

    11 May 2008 at 11:13 pm

  18. Such an opportunity to be so close to all these amazing birds…I get chills just looking at their beauty! WOW!!! eyes popping!! thank you NG

    11 May 2008 at 11:25 pm

  19. Wonderful birds, wonderful pictures. When I was a kid they were things I ticked off, like collecting hockey cards. Now I marvel at every single one of them and wonder about their stories, how they survived the trip south and back.

    Thanks for these pictures. They are gold.

    11 May 2008 at 11:48 pm

  20. Geez oh Pete! What lovely photos, what a great experience. I am so glad you got to go.

    11 May 2008 at 11:57 pm

  21. Nice color contrast.

    12 May 2008 at 12:01 am

  22. Absolutely wonderful photos. What a great variety of beautiful birds! Keep up the good work. 🙂
    Congratulations to Young Naturalist J on the lifers!
    Sorry I’ve been AWOL, but I’m still playing tour guide for my Canadian visitor. Things will ret’n to normal soon.

    12 May 2008 at 12:39 am

  23. Wow! They would all be lifers for me! Great photos, too!

    12 May 2008 at 2:25 am

  24. I am in awe. What beautiful birds and wonderful photos!

    12 May 2008 at 5:27 am

  25. Phenomenal photos! Few people get such outstanding looks at warblers, even in the heat of spring migration. Congrats on the lifers.

    12 May 2008 at 11:37 am

  26. Wow – quite an assortment and lots of great shots. Two of them (chestnut-sided, mourning) would have been lifers for me – and other would have ‘breeding plumage’ lifers, since the only time I really get to see them is in the fall.

    Fantastic photography to make me jealous!

    12 May 2008 at 2:17 pm

  27. @ Amy – Thanks and I have never been to the Erie National Wildlife Refuge – I hope to visit one day!
    @ Naturegirl – thanks and they were such great birds!
    @ Hugh – thanks and I almost check off seeing birds like sports cards!
    @ Trixie – Thanks and it was a great trip!
    @ John – Thanks
    @ Lana – thanks and it was amazing seeing them! Take your time . . . we will be here when you get time!
    @ Mary – Thanks and I loved them!
    @ threecollie – thanks and they were such great birds!
    @ Mike – Thanks and we feel very honored to have seen them.
    @ Marty – thanks and those two we get at our banding station! It was nice capturing pictures of them in their breeding plumage! Sorry!

    12 May 2008 at 8:24 pm

  28. NatureShutterbug

    Outstanding photos.

    13 May 2008 at 10:51 pm

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