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Monday, January 18, 2010

Brid Banding

We were excited to see the wildlife area and the banding this morning, the nice thing was it was at a decent hour too, 9 am.
We were going to park at the gate but the agent saw us and opened the gate and we drove in til we saw the birding nets. They had about 12 nets up to catch the birds, you can see one of the net to the right of this photo.The group watching the banding today were students from a college in Dubuque, IA, 9 students and 2 professors came to the valley for a 2 week nature workshop. The students were really enjoying the valley, had the birds they wanted to see were excited that we had seen the Grooved-billed Ani and Ken still had it pic in his camera to show them.
This area is a regular spot that Mark Conway bands birds and he said they get to know where the nets are and avoid them so we only had 7 birds banded, a Curved billed Thrasher, White-eyed Vireo, 2 Cardinals, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets and a Common Yellow throat.

This is the Common Yellow-throat.

Here why they named the kinglet the ruby-crowned, you normally wouldn't see it as the red feathers are hidden by the grey feathers unless it is irritated.

We learned that the Cardinal has a nasty temper and has a nasty bite.
We felt privileged today by being invited to join the group, Sam Patton the Wildlife agent is very nice and has invited us to join on other banding projects in this spot. The area has 900 acres which he manages, keeping poachers, wild pigs, dogs and invading plants out. It was a cotton plantation in the 70's and the state bought it with plans for a refuge with trails etc but the money ran out so it is a quiet spot for nature to be free of human intrusion, most of the time. They do have controlled deer and javelina hunts.
Tonight we will probably join the games and play Mexican train, we've missed a whole week or more of games with our colds which we learned today could be Juniper Fever an allergy the people get here, the agent is fighting it too.

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