Kid Birders at SWAT
On Friday the 12th of June 2009 we opened the 2nd session of the SWAT MAPS banding station! We captured 14 different species and banded 17 newly banded birds with 16 recaptures (total of 33 individuals). The weather was very cooperative and we had a great steady number of birds being captured in the nets.
Highlights included a capture of a Woodthrush, Hermit Thrush, Baltimore Oriole and 2 Hairy Woodpeckers. One of the Hairy Woodpeckers was a newly born hatch year and this baby was captured at the same time with its father (who was a recaptured woodpecker from a previous year). I always make it a point to smell the woodpeckers head . . . . “sniff”, “sniff” we all took the time for a scent or two!! For warblers we captured a Yellow Warbler, 5 Chestnut-sided Warblers, 2 American Redstarts and 3 Common Yellowthroats.
This was a special banding session for the two home school families that arrived for the first time at the banding station. They were local families who do field trips together and I can’t wait for them to return again. The kids were amazing young birders and they had taught themselves about the many different species of birds by using their field guides.
I tried like heck to trick the kids but this group worked together and knew every species that we had captured!!! I almost had them with one of the female warblers . . . . but the one boy said “Common Yellowthroat”! Dam these kids are good! But with many of the species that look alike . . . I could only get them with the sex of the birds! We approached the net and the kids got excited with the two American Redstarts! One of the boys said “I want the male Redstart”! I said which one . . . . he he he, the second year male Redstarts look just like female redstarts! This was the best I could do in tricking these chillens!!
The kids were keeping a daily bird checklist and while returning from a net check . . . . . I said “there is the Blackburnian Warbler, you don’t have the one on your list yet!” . . . . . the moment of the day was watching these kids working together in locating this orange burst of a warbler in the treetop! I am proud to have had the opportunity to done some birding with these future young birders and nature photographers of the world!!
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