Monday, March 22, 2010

Banding 22 March 2010

Spring has arrived! Our totals at Dundas for this morning were:

1 Blue Jay
1 American Tree Sparrow
13 Dark-eyed ("Slate-colored") Juncos
1 Dark-eyed ("Oregon") Junco
6 American Goldfinches
5 Northern Cardinals
1 Hairy Woodpecker

Plus a Black-capped Chickadee originally banded on 26 October 2009.

The tree sparrow is only the second banded at the Dundas site.  I wonder why such a common bird in Minnesota is so rare in my banding nets.  In South Dakota I averaged 22.2 tree sparrows a year.  In 1996, in my residential backyard, I banded 255!  The migrating tree sparrows were almost like streams of protoplasm, which fortunately flowed right into my net.  I have not seen anything like that since.

Notice that the American Tree Sparrow photographed above lacks the distinct breast spot indicated in most field guides.

I will have more to write about the Blue Jay and the "Oregon" Junco in future blog postings.

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