donderdag 13 oktober 2011

One Grackle in the hand is worth a thousand in the air

''Beter één vogel in de hand dan tien in de lucht''. This is the Dutch translation of the expression in English: One bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Most banders/ringers are familiar with this expression, since you'd rather catch a bird than seeing it fly overhead! And today, once again, this expression proved itself again. We watched 100s of Grackles fly by today, but the best one ended up in our nets of course.. Two more Grackles were able to escape from the nets but we were more than pleased (well.. at least I was!) to catch one.
Common Grackle closeup
Common Graclke, hatching year male
Best way to age 'Blackbirds' (Grackles/Rusty Blackbird/Red-winged Blackbird etc) is to take a look at the underwing. As you can see in the above picture the Grackle shows several moult limits in the 'underwingcoverts'. 

Other than that Mary got our 3rd Sharp-shinned Hawk for this fall out of a net; a hatching year female, the 2nd female this fall!
A satisfied Mary, bringing the Sharpie in. 
World domination!
In the hand they always look smaller than in flight..
Who the hell is this crazy Dutchman, that is photographing me?
Abberant looking Yellow-rumped Warbler with all the white in the face.

The banding totals for today:

Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 -
Eastern Phoebe 1 -
Blue-headed Vireo 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 2 -
Black-capped Chickadee 1 -
Winter Wren 2 -
Golden-crowned Kinglet 1 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3 -
Hermit Thrush 2 -
Gray Catbird 4 -
Tennessee Warbler 2 -
Nashville Warbler 3 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler 17 -
Hooded Warbler 1 - A really late one!!
Eastern Towhee 1 -
Chipping Sparrow 1 -
Field Sparrow 2 -
Swamp Sparrow 7 -
White-throated Sparrow 11 -
White-crowned Sparrow 1 -
Dark-eyed Junco 1 -
Indigo Bunting 1 -
Common Grackle 1 -
American Goldfinch 11 -

Total 79, 25 species

My father, Tammo, is coming over from Holland tomorrow! I'm really excited that he is coming to visit me and also that he is going to help with the banding. He will arrive at Pittsburgh airport around 15.00 and probably will be here at Powdermill around 17.00. I wish him a good trip tomorrow!

Furthermore, the Fort Ligonier Days will start tomorrow. This is a three day lasting festival in the near town Ligonier. We will go there tomorrow too, after banding. Should be fun!

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