Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wood Thrush

On Wednesday I banded only a House Wren and this Wood Thrush.  This thrush's call is one of the magical sounds of the Eastern forest--click here for a sample.  This species is one bird I band more often in Minnesota than in northeastern South Dakota. Spring banding continues to be frustratingly slow. Yellow-rumped Warblers are an example of this poor spring in Northfield.  In late April and early May 2009, I banded well over 75 of these common warblers.  This year I have ringed less than a half dozen.

Perhaps the last week of rain has impeded the migration.  To date, I have banded only three warbler species, all dutifully reported in this blog.  In South Dakota, May rains almost always brought migrants to the banding station.  I hypothesized that most Dakota migrants took off from Nebraska or Iowa and overflew South Dakota unless they hit bad weather--a situation similar to migrants crossing the Gulf of Mexico.  In Louisiana, trans-gulf migrants do not make landfall until several hundred miles inland--unless there is weather, in which case they fall out along the coast or even on oil rigs over the water.  I figured perhaps the Dakota prairies presented a similar barrier for woodland migrants.

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