The plan for today’s lab was to set up nets at another colleagues’s house, taking advantage of the five bird feeders in his yard to get some really great captures. However, when I went to sleep last night, I was worried that it would be too cold this morning for the birds to be moving much. The overnight low was in the 30s, which usually means that birds are hunkered down trying to conserve their energy – less movement means more energy can be devoted to keep themselves warm.
I was COLD y’all. It feels funny to say that, since the rest of the country is blanketed in snow, but us Georgians think 30 is downright frigid. (To be fair, I’ve always thought that, even when I lived in Wisconsin.)
The birds didn’t care about the cold one bit. They were FLYING everywhere. In fact, we caught 2 Chipping Sparrows WHILE we were setting the first net up!
This net has about 8 birds, see if you can find them all!
Chipping Sparrows were literally everywhere. Myself and a student rushed the net to send a couple from the feeder into the net (I don’t recommend this for research purposes, but for fun, I say go for it.) We caught so many birds that at one point, every one of us was holding a bird!
This isn’t even the busy time of year, either!
Instead of listening to me yammer about what birds we caught and how exciting it was, let’s just look at some pictures of students holding birds, their smiles can tell the tale of the excitement.
Red-winged Blackbirds were the biggest bird we caught today (and ever in class so far.)
These Downy Woodpeckers were not very excited to be caught. They were even less excited to be held so close to each other. They were trying to “kiss” each other. Or….maybe it was fighting.
I think this is one of theTufted Titmice we caught. I’m fairly sure we caught the same birds more than once, but we have no way of knowing because we aren’t banding them.
I got a great email from a student telling me that today was “awesome”. I couldn’t agree more.