Morse MAPS July 20, 2013 Field Report

Report from the Field : Morse Preserve MAPS July 20, 2013 By Don Norman, PSBO board member

The July 20th session was just me and 1 other bander – Dana Acevedo, who escaped her 2 kids to try and get the rust out of her fingers. And she was fast! She covered 7 nets . . . → Read More: Morse MAPS July 20, 2013 Field Report

PSBO member Dawn Garcia Recaptures Foreign-Banded Northern Saw-whet Owl

Written by Dawn Garcia, edited by Mary Huff

PSBO member and experienced bander Dawn Garcia recently recaptured a Northern Saw-whet Owl (NSWO) in Chico, CA, that was banded earlier this year in Montana.

Dawn set up a NSWO fall migration monitoring station at Chico State University after leaving the Pacific Northwest in 2005 to attend school there.  She and her . . . → Read More: PSBO member Dawn Garcia Recaptures Foreign-Banded Northern Saw-whet Owl

Sora rail release

Ryan, our Audubon staffer, let the Sora go out by the marsh where the students first discovered it.  The bird took off from his hand, proving to be a remarkably strong flier.  Ironically, it flew clear across the marsh and landed on the far bank of the pond; after a brief recovery, it ran . . . → Read More: Sora rail release

Sora rail portraits

All the students had a chance to hold the Sora so they could experience firsthand where the expression “thin as a rail” originates:  rails actually show extreme lateral compression to their breastbone, presumably to aid their forays through their favored, densely vegetated marsh habitat.

Sarah, our communications coordinator came up for a day, to . . . → Read More: Sora rail portraits

Think like a Sora Rail

Photo by Dan Froehlich

The highlight of teen banding camp came on Thursday when the students flushed a Sora Rail out of the marsh that chanced to fly up toward the camp and tried to hide among some dark Ponderosa trunks.  Everyone sprang into action to encircle the tree and trap the odd . . . → Read More: Think like a Sora Rail

Of sparrows & sapsuckers

Photo by Dan Froehlich.

Lincoln’s Sparrows up at Cash Prairie continued to pose identification challenges for the student

Lincoln's Sparrow. Photo by Dan Froehlich.

banders, illustrating that bird id in the hand is quite different than in the field.  In the hand people use field marks quite different from those often . . . → Read More: Of sparrows & sapsuckers

Interesting plumage

Spotted towhee. Photo by Dan Froehlich.

Despite the unusual rains, we’ve caught some interesting birds.  This Spotted Towhee surprised us at Cash Prairie.  Last year, we didn’t have SPTO at any of our sites, though we detected them regularly down lower just above the Nile Valley.  This juvenile was interesting not just for . . . → Read More: Interesting plumage

Adult Banding Camp Begins!

The lush meadow at McDaniel Lake. Photo by Andrea Wuenschel.

We arrived at McDaniel Lake for our annual Adult Banding Camp to find the stream higher, the vegetation greener and the mosquitoes hungrier than last year. We started banding on Monday with results that surprised us at first: last year most of our . . . → Read More: Adult Banding Camp Begins!


We started the day by teaching the trainees how to set up nets. By 8am, we’d caught no birds in the new nets, so we decided to open up the meadow nets that have been so reliable. By 9am, we’d only caught 2-3 birds, an unusually slow start to the day. At the 9am . . . → Read More: FALLOUT!!!

More Birds, and Bats!

We had a steadily busy day on Tuesday, catching 75 birds (15 species) between 7:30 am and 1:30 pm. We had lots of warblers – including 27 Yellow-rumped (Audubon’s) and 14 Townsend’s Warblers, as well as Yellow and Orange-crowned Warblers, Other highlights were both Hammond’s and Dusky Flycatchers, and a hatch year male Williamson’s . . . → Read More: More Birds, and Bats!