“Cuckoo” Cuckoo and “tween” Woodcock
Yesterday before having fun over at Allenburg Bog, I spent the morning opening the CLDC MAPS banding station. Jeremy helped with some weed-eating and also assisted with getting the mist-nets ready for banding. We were both surprised when Jeremy located some young Woodcocks hiding in the grass. They couldn’t fly yet and had some pin feathers in its flight feathers (flight feathers were still growing). I couldn’t believe how well camouflaged these little birdies were with the surrounding vegetation that they were hiding in.
I must admit that these were the cutest little worm eating birdies that I have ever seen and you could even see some dried up mud on its bill where they have been probing for worms. I was bummed that I didn’t have my banding equipment with me and it would have been excellent for our project to have banded these fledglings. We will have to see if these guys show up again when we are out banding. I just know how much Young Naturalist J loves being spooked by these guys when you flush a bird from along the trail.
Then yesterday evening I had a knock on my door from a fellow employee who found this Black-billed Cuckoo on the ground after slamming against their window. They brought it to me in a box and thought it had possibly died or was close to dieing. Nothing physically appeared to be wrong with the bird and perhaps had a severe concussion (or was a little cuckoo). It was starting to get dark and I decided to try and release it from where they first found the bird. The Cuckoo did take flight and flew about 100 feet before dropping into the grass! We knew it didn’t have any broken bones but it appeared that we needed to recapture it for an overnight in a safer/warmer location to work on recovering from its concussion.
I woke up this morning to find the bird to be a little more responsive and I decided to give another try to its release. This time the bird was ready to take flight and flew perfectly into one of the Sugar Maples. It sat in the same tree for a while and just hopped around from branch to branch. I used this opportunity to capture a few photos of the bird before it disappeared higher up into the tree canopy. I did band the Cuckoo and it would be interesting to see if I ever encounter this bird again.
BTW: CLDC MAPS banding station is set up and ready for banding!
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