Fun Challenges and Cautionary Tales from Fall Banding

Steve BrennerBanding, Identification, MigrationLeave a Comment

Fall migration out east is a conflicting time for birders: the rarity machine is usually churning out goodies after goodies. Also, fall warblers dressed in brand-new plumage are pulsing through the woodlots of every town. These days most birders have come to appreciate the subtle nuances of fall warblers. The ID challenge is fun and rewarding, and in a way … Read More

Baby Barn Owl Banding!

Alex LamoreauxScience1 Comment

This evening I was able to tag along to watch Nate McKelvie, environmental educator at the Milton Hershey School, band four juvenile Barn Owls from one of the Hershey Trust’s old barns on the north side of Hershey. This is one of two known nesting sites in the area this year. The four juveniles were between 41 and 50 days … Read More

Trumpeter Swans with ‘captive’ neck-collars in PA

Alex LamoreauxBird Sightings, distribution, Rarities1 Comment

Trumpeter Swans are rare but increasing in Pennsylvania, and more are found every year. Many of the swans found in PA have yellow neck-collars or yellow wing-tags from the Ontario reintroduction efforts. However, there has been an interesting rush of sightings of 3 different neck-collared Trumpeter Swans in PA since March 10th; all of which have stained, white neck-collars with 4-digit codes on … Read More

Eagle Madness

Steve BrennerBanding, ScienceLeave a Comment

When it comes to raptors, eagles often come out on top in every category. And why not? They are massive, long-lived, fierce, majestic, and did I mention that they are very large? Whether it’s soaring past a hawkwatch or giving Gandalf a ride to freedom, eagles are worth looking at every time. Easily one of the most rewarding experiences of … Read More

Lincoln’s Sparrow vs. Song Sparrow – PSU Fall Banding

Alex LamoreauxBanding, Identification, Science8 Comments

Overcast skies and a nice breeze made for a more relaxed morning of bird banding, but the flocks of White-throated Sparrows moving through kept us busy. In total we banded 2 Eastern Phoebes, 1 Blue-headed Vireo, 3 Gray Catbirds, 1 Eastern Towhee, 2 Song Sparrows, 1 Lincoln’s Sparrow, 38 White-throated Sparrows, 5 Northern Cardinals. We also had a number of … Read More

Mourning Warbler – PSU Fall Banding

Alex LamoreauxBanding, Migration, Science5 Comments

We had another great morning of bird banding in the PSU Arboretum today, with 4 warbler species captured including a stunning juvenile female Mourning Warbler. Other species captured this morning were 1 Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, 1 Ovenbird, 1 Common Yellowthroat, 1 Magnolia Warbler, 2 Blue Jays, 2 Wood Thrushes, 12 Gray Catbirds, 1 Brown Thrasher, 4 Eastern Towhees, and 1 House … Read More

Black-and-white Warbler – PSU Fall Banding

Alex LamoreauxBanding, ScienceLeave a Comment

This morning was the PSU Forest Fest in the Botanic Gardens, so to make access for visitors easier, we moved the banding station up from Big Hollow. With two nets around bird feeders and the rest down along the forest edge, we were ready to catch a nice collection of birds to show the public. The highlight today was this … Read More

Yellow-bellied Invasion – PSU Fall Banding

Alex LamoreauxBanding, Bird Sightings, Migration, Science1 Comment

After a week’s worth of warm weather, the cold front moving through also brought an incredible push of migrants across the Northeast. I was very excited to get out this morning and try to catch some birds, hoping Big Hollow would be full of migrants. As I was walking to the banding site I could hear (and sometimes see) warblers … Read More

Northern Saw-whet Owl Banding with Wayne Laubscher

Alex LamoreauxMigration, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Last evening, Wayne Laubscher who has been banding Northern Saw-whet Owls on his property for quite a few years, invited Drew and I to come out if he ended up catching any owls. Around 9:30pm we got a call from Wayne saying he had just captured a hatch-year saw-whet, so we drove out there as fast as we could and … Read More