What a great day of banding we had yesterday! We were joined before breakfast by an enthusiastic (though sleepy) group who turned out to be amazing helpers and awesome birders. Those who knew the birds we caught were good at filling others in on the characteristics that helped them with ID. We had three groups of campers help during the Nature activity block as well which was great fun. Despite the hot weather we caught birds during each block, though the afternoon block was much slower. The highlight was a flurry of activity at the end of the first block into the second with 12 birds in one net at once! Chickadees, titmouse, goldfinches, nuthatches, and everyone’s favorite: a “butterbutt”. Also known as the Myrtle, or Yellow rumped, warbler this little 9 gram bird has a patch of yellow at the base of its tail. This was a male still in full breeding plumage. Since a few of the Titmice were young of this year, and adults were creating a rucous in the trees, we wondered if the young birds were caught first and the others all came down to investigate. We had boys carrying bags of birds back to the station for banding with huge smiles on their faces! It took some time processing all the birds but we managed to get them on their way quickly and back to the cooler temperatures of the woods. Several boys already know the band sizes that some of these common birds wear and are quick to tell me even before I have to think about it! Its wonderful to have the excitement and extra help. Other birds we caught were Blue jays, a Flicker that escaped before we got to it, robins and red-eyed vireos. 35 birds in all which is not bad considering the heat! The next bird walk will be our Sunday walk tomorrow, weather permitting. Unless there is a torrential downpour, we’ll head out to count birds!