From White-throats To White-Crowneds

This has to be a quick and dirty post, I have an early flight in the morning.

This morning while at banding class at Carpenter Nature Center, I looked around and everyone had a white-crowned sparrow like the above bird in their hands, a little different from the white-throated sparrows a couple of weeks ago.

We did get in one male yellow-rumped warbler. It's still a tad chilly here and the insects are not out in full force so the insect eating birds are still having to improvise. One male yellow-rumped warbler was foraging on the ground at one of the feeding stations. As I watched, a downy woodpecker flew in and began pecking on the suet cage. As the downy pecked, tiny pieces of suet fell to the ground and the warbler would scurry to snarf up the suet scraps.

I was painfully pinched by a female cardinal today. The funny thing was that she was barely caught in the nets. When I walked over to retrieve her, she clamped down on a tiny piece of flesh on my inner hand (worst pinch I've ever had--owie) and pretty much rolled out. Had she not clamped down on my hand, she probably would have easily gotten herself out of the nets. Above, Erin is banding her. She had the genius idea of letting the cardinal bite the bag, while she placed a band on her foot. The cardinal is actually holding the hole bag in her mouth above the ground--that's some bite.

We got in a couple of interesting sparrows too. Above is a field sparrow--check out that pink beak!

And here's a Lincoln's sparrow, migration is really kicking in. Speaking of migration, have you seen the story that scientists may have cracked the bird navigation code?

And now I must go to sleep. Tomorrow I head for Cape May and The World Series of Birding. I don't know what's my favorite part: saying that I'm going to the World Series of Birding or that I'm on the Swarovski Digiscoping Team. And at some point I'm going to have to tell you guys about the rules for this thing...and the handy warbler study aid I've been using from birdJam. I kid you not, thanks to birdJam, I now have a playlist that consists of nothing but warbler chip notes.