Bird activity picked up a little bit from yesterday with 27 new birds banded and 9 recaptured of 10 different species. Common Yellowthroats and Gray Catbirds made up most of today's catch but we did band another Blackpoll Warbler.
Downy Woodpeckers are infrequently captured even though there are several seen and heard around KIBS. Males can be identified by the red patch of feathers at the back of the head. Females will lack this feature. This bird was aged as a hatch-year because of a molt limit between the primary coverts and the greater coverts. The primary coverts were a dull black and uniform in color and they distinctly contrasted in color with the blacker greater coverts. The picture below hopefully depicts that molt limit, as subtle as it is.
|Downy Woodpecker (hatch-year, male)|
Unfortunately for banders, woodpeckers are equipped with a dangerous tool. The sharp bill they use to make holes in trees can also be used to make holes in fingers.
|The costs associated with taking a photo of a Downy Woodpecker.|