Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Sparrow's Harrow

Faced with another slow day at the station, the highlight of the day came early with a trifecta of sparrow species. While many overlook sparrows as “Little Brown Jobs” (LBJs), sparrows have held a popular place in historical folklore. Sparrows in Greek mythology were the symbols of true love and thought to be a sacred bird to the goddess of love, Aphrodite. In some early European cultures, a sparrow venturing into your house was seen as a death omen unless you could capture and kill the bird. However, Indonesian folklore holds a different opinion about sparrows in the home. They welcomed them and even encouraged nesting because it brought good luck. Even ancient Egyptians revered the sparrow; they thought sparrows were charged with the task of catching and carrying recently deceased souls to heaven. I wonder what our unassuming trifecta of sparrows was up to this morning? Perhaps they brought us luck for better numbers in the coming days.

From left to right: White-throated Sparrow (AHY), Song Sparrow (HY), and Swamp Sparrow (HY)

Our days as banding assistants here at the Kiawah Island Banding Station this season are dwindling. However, the cool shift in weather still holds promise for many great birds and experiences with the team before we each take our own migrations.

From left to right: Josh with Song Sparrow, Claire with White-throated Sparrow, and Vicki with Swamp Sparrow

- Claire

1 Blue-headed Vireo
3 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Gray Catbird
20 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Song Sparrow
1 Swamp Sparrow

1 Carolina Chickadee
1 Carolina Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 Gray Catbird
5 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Painted Bunting
4 Northern Cardinal
1 Swamp Sparrow
1 White-throated Sparrow

# of Birds Banded:  28
# of Recaptures:  19
# of Species:  10
Effort:  117.5 net-hours
Capture Rate:  40.0 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  20

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for keeping me updated daily on what everyone has been doing. I've loved the pictures, and really had no idea the variety of bird species on the island.