We dodged rain showers most of the morning and finally decided to shut the nets down at 8:45am. We banded 5 new birds with 3 recapture of 5 different species.
The highlight of the day was an adult male PAINTED BUNTING. Painted Buntings are done nesting and are now in the process of molting their feathers. Today's male was no exception. He was missing a chunk of feather on the top giving him the appearance as if he was going bald. Despite his brilliant colors, most of his feathers were fairly old and unkempt looking. Over the next several weeks, these old feather will be replaced with a fresh set and he will be ready to leave Kiawah Island for the winter.
|Painted Bunting (after hatch-year, male)|
Another bird that we band a lot of is the NORTHERN CARDINAL. Because they are so common around the banding station, they seldom get their picture taken. They also have a healthy appetite for bander's fingers. That large seed crushing bill can cause a painful bite!
|Northern Cardinal (hatch-year, male)|