We banded 6 new birds along with 6 recaptures of 6 different species. Jeez, I hope that's not bad luck? Widespread rain across the northeastern United States last night probably prevented any substantial migration from occurring overnight. In addition, the wind did not shift to the north until around 10am this morning. North winds are expected overnight so I am hoping that today was just the "calm before the storm" and we will have a good day tomorrow!
Some birds are able to time their migration to take advantage of seasonally abundant resources. Right now at KIBS, berries of several species are beginning to ripen such as pokeweed, beautyberry, and Smilex. I suspect that over the next couple of weeks we will start seeing (and banding) Gray Catbirds and thrushes in much greater numbers as a result of the numerous berry producing plants that are now fruiting.
|Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)|
|American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)|
Resident species such as this Northern Mockingbird also take advantage of this abundant food source as evident by the purplish stains on the feathers under the tail. Banders must also be on their toes during this time, especially when taking a bird that is head-high out of the net. On a few occasions, I have received an unpleasant face full of purplish goo. Not only does it stain the bird's feathers - it stains the skin for a while too!