The Route to McDaniel Lake

For those of you coming up to the McDaniel Field Station this summer – here is some information about where we are. Click here for our Google Maps site which pinpoints the location. Zoom way in and turn on satellite and you’ll see some pretty cool pictures of the area. If you click on . . . → Read More: The Route to McDaniel Lake

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

Teen camp: bird bonanza & headlamp soccer encore

Photo by Sarah Krueger

After a slow morning at the mist nets at Cash Prairie (elevation 6,000 feet), bird activity suddenly picked up and yielded the highest capture day of the season.   The Teen Banding Camp students practiced handling and banding 58 birds – including  over 30 juvenile Oregon Juncos and a female Williamson’s . . . → Read More: Teen camp: bird bonanza & headlamp soccer encore

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

Warblers, thunderstorms & rattlers

Audubon's warbler. Photo by Dan Froehlich.

Warblers have been in short supply so far this year.  Only a few locally breeding Audubon’s Warblers have gotten caught, including this adult SY with 4 generations of feathers on its wing!  Note the juvenal primary coverts, the formative outer greater coverts, the first alternate inner . . . → Read More: Warblers, thunderstorms & rattlers

Too much Pyle on the brain….

Top row L to R: Scott, Roberta, Don, Dan, Erin Sarah. Bottom row L to R: Samantha, Vanessa, Eric, Julia, Clint, Cindy, Nancy, Gail. Photographer: Andrea Wuenschel.

This is what happens at Banding Camp when you have too much Pyle on the . . . → Read More: Too much Pyle on the brain….

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!