Today is the fourth day of my training for the MAPS bird banding program! I got here on Thursday but it seems like I have been here much longer. There have been so many neat birds already! We are way down in South Texas and we are just at the Northern tip of the ranges of some cool Southern species. One of which is the Green Jay, which is one of the most brilliantly colored birds around here. Not to mention there are also Painted buntings here.. they have a larger range in the USA but I had never seen one until this week! AND I got to hold one.
Green Jay, I hope we get to band one!
Training has been good so far and we are all getting used to waking up around 5:30am. I have been banding for a few years now but I'm still learning a lot, especially about how to properly age a bird. Of course there is still a lot more to learn, it is definitely something that takes time and patience and a lot of practice.
Along with the Painted Bunting and the Green Jay, I have seen so many species that are completely new to me. Some of them we even got to band. Today some of my favorites were the Olive Sparrow and the Worm-eating Warbler.
Yesterday, our first bird out of the net was this fabulous Blue Grosbeak:
We have been getting a lot of migrants flying through Texas, such as the Worm-eating Warbler I mentioned and the Mourning Warbler pictured below.
The bird pictured at the top of this update is a Yellow-breasted Chat. They have been the most popular bird in our nets and we have already recaptured several that we already banded. But once again, another new bird for my bird list.
Right now our internet use is pretty limited, but hopefully I will get to update again sometime soon!