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catbird

This morning Dan the bird guy came from Smithsonian Nestwatch to survey our yard. This is the fourth year they've done it. The first two years Bob the bird guy spent a couple of hours trying to lure a catbird into the mist net to no avail (each time, he caught four other birds instead). The next year Vince(? I don't think his name was really Vince but a name that reminds me of Vince) and Elizabeth (? again, although I know it was a long name that she used whole) did catch one in the net, although we don't know how. We were on the porch working on another bird when it flew into the net. Dan found last year's catbird two yards downhill from us. Then he stalked another one in our yard and caught it with a net on a stick. In prior years, they've taken blood samples from the larger birds, but this year they are just collecting parasites when they find them to see if they are West Nile Virus vectors. There weren't any visible on this bird. Other than that, they get weighed, measured, checked for fat (this one had none), and then a couple of fluffy feathers and a tail feather are stuffed into an envelope. They get leg bands--this bird has blue and green--and are set loose. Dan offered to let Victoria pet the bird before he let go of him, but she preferred to keep her distance. Then the bird wanted to hang out on Dan's hand, biting his thumb for a while, but finally he took off. I'm supposed to watch for the nest he's going to be building. I am a terrible bird-watcher but I do try. Just one bird this year, but my list of banded birds is long by now. I have yet to re-spot one on my own.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
efbq
Jun. 2nd, 2004 07:44 am (UTC)
Cool!
ednoria
Jun. 2nd, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC)
We had a bird gal come this morning to look and listen to the birds in our yard -- it's a survey of birds that nest in Montgomery County and our property got picked. They don't catch them, just look to see what's there. And later they'll send us a list of what they saw. Which is kinda neat.
mommyrex
Jun. 2nd, 2004 08:18 pm (UTC)
People come to your house to check out your birds -- how do you hook up with these people? I'm an extremely amateur bird enthusiast.

Maybe they could tell me why we suddenly have a FLOCK of cardinals. Seriously -- three males and probably more than one female, although I've only seen the one female. I haven't seen much of our bluebirds, and none of our pheobes and kingbirds yet this year, but most of the usual woodpeckers (pileated, red-bellied, hairy and/or downy, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and red-shafted flicker) have been sighted this spring, and this morning I saw an oriole down the road about a mile. This is just a good place for birds.

Joe says we have a nesting pair of red-headed woodpeckers at the new house in Kansas. And some kind of orioles as well. And I am totally excited about it. Dang, I am so turning into my mom ...
koralleen
Jun. 3rd, 2004 05:55 am (UTC)
Nestwatch
http://sio.si.edu/Nestwatch/

Do you put out birdseed? We always buy a lot of whatever is cheap (cheep! HA! HA!) and once we got something that everyone but cardinals hated. It looked like a cardinal convention for a few weeks. Now what we have is beloved by English Sparrows and Doves. Doves don't do much for me and the sparrows are foreign invaders too adorable to despise. We are way too urban for bluebirds, I think. These people come out and find birds I never would have suspected were here. They listen and then they pull out the binoculars. It's very cool.

What new house in Kansas? Is there an old house in Kansas?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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