We captured numerous young phoebes in the same net area, probably her young. See how much fresher they look!
The "whiskers" on this phoebe's face are known as rictal bristles and are actually hairlike feather projections. They are present in flycatchers and insect-eating birds, thought to protect the face from scaly insects, but we don't really know for sure.
A young European Starling let me have it. Warblers are often docile while I'm taking their picture, but no so with starlings- check it out:
A close up shows the ragged roof of its mouth thought to help grind up those juicy hairy caterpillars they like to consume.
On Friday I was so excited, YES! I've finally confirmed a species as a breeder on Wing Island, one I have suspected of breeding there but never had positive proof. A Saltmarsh Sparrow!
Their old name, Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow came from their very pointed tails.
She had a full brood patch with fluid visible.
We ended the week on Saturday handling a whopping 91 birds, I was happy I had plenty of help. Carolyn came back with a poor juvenile catbird with the worst case of a deformed upper mandible than I have ever seen.
Surprisingly, this bird was obviously able to eat as its weight, although a bit lighter, was comparable with other catbirds at this time of year. I doubt he will make it to next year though.
On a happier note, our first Red-eyed Vireos showed up today. We've never had one earlier than mid August and we've never had Northern Waterthrushes before the end of August. Guess the birds had such a good breeding year they are heading out early.
As adults the red eye is very prominent but hatching year birds have brown eyes, a quick clue to age.
Thanks very much to the following people for helping out at some point during the last two weeks: Judith Bruce, Judy Keller, Carolyn Kennedy, Gretchen Putonen, Jessica Rempel, and Lyndsay Walls. The following birds were seen, heard, or captured during 17-31 July. Numbers reflect captured birds only.
Total birds: 372 Total species: 52
Total banded species: 23 Birds/100 net-hours: 98
Great Blue Heron
Great Black-backed Gull
Great Crested Flycatcher