Keeping with the waxwing theme today… Yesterday I observed the bird banding team again at Rollins Savanna. It was the last MAPS session for the season. Like last time, it was quite busy when I arrived, with over a dozen birds having been pulled from just one net.
Most captures were Common Yellowthroats. They were pretty calm while being handled for the most part. The mosquitoes were flying all over and once a yellowthroat tried to grab a mosquito in its beak while it was being processed, which was extremely cute.
Many of birds were going through molt and were missing head feathers. They were very difficult to age and sex. The bird books were consulted for each bird and there was a lot of discussion among the team.
Two Cedar Waxwings were also caught in the nets. They were both juveniles who did not yet have the red wingtips for which the species is named. Neither bird was happy to be there.
The bird above was especially feisty, locking its feet together to make the bander’s job extremely difficult. It was biting the pliers, the bander’s hands, everything in sight during the entire process. When it came time to be released, it was so intent on biting the bander’s finger it didn’t realize it was time to go, until it got a tap on the rear:
MAPS will start up again in the spring and I hope to join the team as a volunteer. So hopefully that was my last visit to the team as an awkward bystander. 😉