Trying for . . .
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.
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.
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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