Today was our second day banding at Camp Bowie. We got there before dawn around 5am. It is kind of scary setting up everything in the dark, but at least we know we are safe within the gates of the National Guard training facility. I have never been on an army base before but the parts we are using are mostly just woodland. Today's banding took place in a mesquite woods which had burned last year. Now it has turned into kind of a marshy grassland with lots of dead trees. Banding was great here, although since it was mostly open, the nets were exposed to a lot of wind which is not ideal for catching birds. Today we got a total of 19 birds including two recaptures. The highlights were two Dickcissels and a Lark Sparrow. I had never gotten to see these birds in the hand before. Luckily they are super common in this area so we will probably be seeing them all summer long.
I still have a few more pictures from training I wanted to put up so below I have a Least Flycatcher of the genus of Very Confusing Empidonax Flycatchers. He can be distinguished by his white eyering. Otherwise most of these flycatchers look a lot alike. Below that, I have a picture of a female Black-and-white Warbler. Both are migrating through the area.
We captured two Vermillion Flycatchers this morning. The above pictured is a second year male. The adult will be much more red all over the body. They are very very brilliant in color. The rest of the birds we got included a very messy Carolina Chickadee, Painted Buntings, Bewick's Wren, Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Bluebird, and three female Cowbirds. The Bluebird and the wren were both recaptures. Overall banding has been pretty successful, the bird have been super active and the weather hasn't been too bad yet.
Four more days of banding and getting up at 4:30am until I get my first day off since I've been here!