I just had a weird, weird Wednesday. First I read a headline on CNN about a high school teacher in trouble for using a banned book in her classroom. Curious about what backwards school system that was, I clicked on the link and discovered it was my old high school: Perry Meridian High School. And that the teacher in trouble was my old Speech and Drama teacher. You can read about it here. I remember that when I was in school I wore a shirt that read, "Celebrate Freedom: Read A Banned Book" and listed a bunch of classics that had been banned. How did I not get suspended? Well, they did let one student wear a "Hitler World Tour" shirt so the clothing policy was lax.
It was another junco bonanza at banding class at Carpenter Nature Center. This time we could hear them singing all over. Most of the juncos were new birds, not too many retraps. I wonder if the birds that we got on Wednesday morning are from further south: Indiana? Texas? They're heading north towards their breeding grounds.
Here's a junco being let go--this new camera can get some really fun shots. We did see one song sparrow hopping around some of the ground traps and we were trying to use our mind control to get it to hop into the trap. It's funny, we'll get them in the summer, but it's been a few months so a different species is exciting. I'm sure by September we'll be dreaming of juncos again.
When I finished, I drove over to the Prescott Railroad Bridge to see if any peregrines were about and sure enough, one unbanded bird was in the sun. Right after I snapped this photo, it hopped off the rail and disappeared so I wasn't able to digiscope it. I looked around and noted a spotting scope attached to a car. I walked over and found that is was Bud Tordoff. He said the unbanded bird was a male and he was watching for the female who is banded to try and read her numbers. Always a great day to run into that Peregrine Guru.
Raptors were really on the move yesterday. On my way home, I passed several bald eagles chasing each other and even saw a talon grab. Red-tails were chasing each other, I saw two more peregrines doing a fly over and though they're not raptors I did see some turkey vultures catching a few thermals. Spring is definitely on the upswing.