Things are starting to heat up down here at Chico Basin Ranch (fee area)
and unfortunately, I don't mean with migration! Temps peaked around 88F
today and are predicted to go over 90F the next two days. Sadly, the
combination of high temps and clear skies are not the best for either
banding or birding as it was almost eerily quiet and still for most of the
day. Despite the weather, we were still fortunate to band 40 new birds,
including three 'first of the season' species: *Sharp-shinned Hawk*, *Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher*, and *Rock Wren*!
What I find interesting is that every day for the last four days, albeit at
different times, a flock of *Common Grackles* and *Red-winged Blackbirds*
make a very noisy appearance/entrance into Holmes Grove, which in turn,
usually heralds a flurry of activity from other various sized birds as
well. This is actually proving to be not only the best time to catch birds
but also to see them. There is a group of four* Red-shafted Flickers* that
almost always add their own 'antics' to the blackbird commotion in the
grove and we have now caught all four of them, although only banded three,
as the female keeps freeing herself from the nets.
Also, of note, the *Long-eared Owls* made their first appearance today in
the back area of Holmes Grove where they like to roost in the winter. They
had been seen elsewhere on the ranch but today was the first day that they
were spotted by Holmes. The *Prothonotary Warbler *was not seen today nor
was it recaptured, although he had a decent amount of fat on him both times
that we caught him so hopefully he has found his way back on track.
As of today, we have banded 848 new birds and 52 species this fall.
We will be open every day until October 1st. Please not that this week
there are large school groups on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and they
usually start around 9/9:30.
Hope to see you out on the ranch!
Bird Bander- Chico Basin Ranch
Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
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