Once upon a time, in a far off land of salt and sand, lived a quartet of banding assistants. The quartet had come from far and wide to capture migrating gems from the sky in hopes that their careful observations might better the kingdom in the future. This morning, unlike many a sunrise, was cold and sighing; fall was whispering the last of its' good tidings in the breaking light with winter quickly on her tail. Despite the hesitant temperatures that had long since sent many glittering jewels south, the four banding assistants continued their quest. The work was slow. Even the most common of late, the butterbutt, wasn’t enough to spread on breakfast’s toast. But the sky remained clear and spirits held high. Something foretold in the scrolls of an inlet villa was about to come to pass.
Quietly, the castle came in robes of white cinched bags. Seeing the finest of clarity and color, the banding assistants knew they were in the presence of royalty. Kinglets, the smallest of the passerines and champions of winter, were in their court.
From left to right: Golden-crowned Kinglet (AHY female), Ruby-crowned Kinglets (AHY male) and (HY female)
Together they dined and jested, telling tales and singing praises of migrations past. The high pitched but complex tones told of a life quick on the wing gleaning insects from the leaves of trees. The banders too told tales of life on the ground with sand between their toes. All too soon the festivities were called to an end; the court needed to disperse to fulfill the dynasty’s mission.
Though the times were changing, neither bander nor noble feathered gem forgot the other. And they all lived happily ever after. The end.
1 Blue-headed Vireo
1 Golden-crowned Kinglet
9 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Song Sparrow
1 House Wren
2 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Gray Catbird
2 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 White-throated Sparrow
1 Northern Cardinal
# of Birds Banded: 12
# of Recaptures: 11
# of Species: 9
Effort: 91.58 net-hours
Capture Rate: 25.11 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets: 20