Friday's banding brought in some interesting birds. First, though can you identify this little bird? I will reveal the identity at the end of this post.
Something that you can't quite see in this photo is that the bird has a light yellow rump patch. This bird required all the guys to get out the field guides when she came in. It was interesting to note that there are several field guides around and the banders tend to reach for Peterson or National Geographic before they will reach for Sibley. I always thought Sibley was the end all be all and the first to be reached for. Who knew?
Well, now here is something you don't see every day:
It's a song sparrow and a red-eyed vireo side by side. They both came into the nets at the same time and I thought "What a fun comparison." The song sparrow tends to hang out low the ground singing its fool head off and the red-eyed vireo tends to hang out in the tops of tree singing its fool head off. I don't know why, but as a kid I always got the impression from looking at field guides that vireos were robin sized and not closer to sparrow or warbler sized. I was really surprised when I actually got to see them in the wild and how small they are. Harold Mayfield recorded one red-eyed vireo in Michigan who sang 22,197 times in a 10 hour period--at least it's a pleasant song.
We also got a gray catbird in the nets.
Some people may be noticing catbirds at the feeder, they love to come in for grape jelly, mealworms and the occasional oyster cracker. I know, some people are out there thinking I'm off my gourd about the oyster crackers, but I have proof thanks to the NovaBird Camera:
Are you still puzzling about the mystery warbler in the first photo of this entry? I've dropped a few hints already: it's a warbler and it's female. Here's another clue:
When the bird was let go, she dove straight down right for some bushes as opposed to flying up in the trees. Has that narrowed it for you? One more hint if you are still stumped: these guys are very pishable (if you say the word "pish" in a whisper, this species will often respond and check out what is making that sound). Now, have you figured out "whichity" warbler it is? (okay, that was a lame pun I know--but it's a holiday weekend, throw me a bone.)
It's a female common yellowthroat. If you got it, pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you didn't, don't sweat it, female warblers are tough. If you laughed at the whichity clue, then go slap yourself.