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

Trying for . . .

Habitat photo where we placed the mist net

This afternoon Young Naturalist J and I attempted to band a rare bird that has been reported in the area. About 3-4 years ago we had a singing male Worm-eating Warbler on territory and the bird hasn’t been relocated since that time. Last Sunday while banding at CLDC, I got a voice mail from Peter Y. that the Worm-eating Warbler had been located again in the same area. Habitat is “perfect” for the bird (Southern steep sloped hillside) with thick undergrowth for nesting birds like the Worm-eating Warbler, Hooded Warbler and Black-throated Blue Warbler! Only problem is that we are just over the northern range for this species and is almost like finding a needle in a haystack.

Young Naturalist J
Young Naturalist J waiting for the bird!

We arrived around 3pm (which isn’t the best time for banding) and headed up the hill into the area where the bird was located last week. We run into a gentleman from the Buffalo area that was also looking for the bird but hadn’t located it yet. We still took the time to set up the mist net and play the loop tape with the “possibility” of catching the warbler. First location was very quite with only a few singing birds in the area. We decided to head down the trail and set the net up in a different area that seemed a little more promising for the warbler.

Hooded Warbler
Hooded Warbler

Well . . . . the spot was great and even heard some chip notes from a bird (could it be a Worm-eating Warbler??)!! There it was . . . . nope, Hooded Warbler and the bird flew right into the net. Young Naturalist J removed the bird and while banding the one hooded . . . . we had a second male hooded fly almost in the same spot. After banding we got bored and decided to go further up the steep hill for one last try. About 10 minutes into the 3rd location we heard a trill similar to the tape! Could it be the Worm-eating Warbler? ? ? Such a similar call . . . . and we were all very excited!! Then we saw this Dark-eyed Junco appeared from the thicket and started singing to the tape. This same Junco stayed in the area for a few minutes and we also had a Scarlet Tanager teasing us with some of its calls (but they kept their distance). It was late and decided to head to KFC for some popcorn chicken without hearing or seeing the Worm-eating Warbler (but we still had fun). At least we had the chance to band those 2 Hooded Warblers!!

SWAT banding is scheduled for tomorrow morning but unsure what the weather will be like (go figure)!  Right now as I am typing we have Thunderstorms!

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16 responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow

    Hooded Warbler is a nice consolation bird. Worm-eating Warbler is a difficult bird to find in these parts. I am glad to know a Junco was confused with the songs. I think there are several birds that sound similar. I thought it was my old ears playing tricks on me but if a Junco can be confused, well, I know I can.

    22 June 2008 at 9:33 pm

  2. The Hooded Warbler is really a great catch. They sure are striking. I hope you find this Worm-eating Warbler. That would really be something! I love the photo of YNJ waiting for the bird. Like playing hide and seek.

    22 June 2008 at 10:07 pm

  3. That really is a beautiful bird! Too bad you didn’t find the Worm-eating Warbler, but maybe another day. Good luck in the search!

    22 June 2008 at 11:09 pm

  4. I’d be dancing a jig of glee to see (much less put my hands on) that Hooded Warbler. Very, very cool bird. Sorry you didn’t find the Worm-eating Warbler. (What a sad name though — sheesh!)

    23 June 2008 at 12:29 am

  5. It’s so cool to see you write about Young Naturalist J as if he’s been doing this forever. :c) The hooded warbler was a lovely consolation prize!

    23 June 2008 at 7:18 am

  6. Bethany

    That would’ve been a great bird–I love the Hooded Warbler though. I think that was some poison ivy J was sitting in…poor kid 🙂

    23 June 2008 at 8:00 am

  7. Too bad about the WeWa, but your photo of the HoWa are gorgeous!

    23 June 2008 at 10:29 am

  8. Too bad about the Worm-eating Warbler, but It looks like the trip was still a “success” and fun.

    23 June 2008 at 11:08 am

  9. Sorry you didn’t get the worm-eating warbler you were questing for. They’re a fun bird to see (says the guy who has only seen them twice). Well, maybe a return trip will be more fruitful.

    23 June 2008 at 4:43 pm

  10. Still great to see the hooded warbler – beautiful.

    23 June 2008 at 4:45 pm

  11. winterwoman

    Sounds like you had a ball, even if you didn’t get your target bird. And that is definitely NOT poison ivy that J is sitting in.

    23 June 2008 at 6:33 pm

  12. Marg

    OMG I got all excited because I thought you were going to say you got it!
    Mind you I would have been thrilled with the Hooded myself!

    23 June 2008 at 8:45 pm

  13. Great pics as always! I looked at Evangola online…BORING. I’d rather spend my admission fee at Allegany! I need to get one of the Empire passes and then it wouldn’t be an issue.

    23 June 2008 at 9:28 pm

  14. Great shot of the Warbler Tom, love the color in this !!

    24 June 2008 at 4:39 pm

  15. @ Lisa – I guess it is but the Worm-eating Warbler would have made my day for sure! One of these days I will get one!
    @ Linda – Thanks and we were getting bored waiting . . . . well you know us!
    @ Rondi – thanks and I have not given up yet!
    @ Liza – thanks and the Hooded was nice but we catch a few a year already! The Worm-eating Warbler would have been a great catch for the area!
    @ Jayne – well you know he has been banding birds for more than half his life! Not sure if that is anything close to forever or not?
    @ Bethany – thanks and that really would have made me laugh if it was but the kid is fine! The three leaves you see is one of the Rubus species! Although those Rubus really cut his shins up!
    @ Adam – thanks and will keep on trying!
    @ Scienceguy – thanks but we always have fun and for sure was a semi success!
    @ Marty – No worries and I saw the bird last time it was in the area! They are neat birds and do plan to return!
    @ Shelley – thanks and it was!
    @ Jen – you know that we always have fun! Lucky it wasn’t!!
    @ Marg – Well . . . not yet!
    @ Amy – thanks and the Pass is expensive but worth it if you come enough!
    @ Bernie – Thanks!

    24 June 2008 at 10:45 pm

  16. I’m amazed at how huge the warbler’s eyes are in relation to the rest of their head. What a beautiful bird.

    28 June 2008 at 11:34 pm

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