Swamp Creatures–Birding and Banding…Jan 9th

28 02 2011

As I mentioned, a University group came to stay at Guido’s place a few days ago. Today they invited me to join them in the mangrove swamps to do some photography while they netted and banded and ‘did science’.  The group is led by Dr. Bryan D Watts, Director of the Center for Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary.

It proved to be a most interesting day. The most important lesson I learned was that if anyone ever invites you to go banding, it’s going to be a LOT of hard work. They first have to locate the nets, which can include some brush clearing as the nets need room to work without injuring the birds. Quite a few nets are set up, and then the netting and banding begins, with a high sense of urgency directed at ensuring that the birds are handled/stressed as little as possible. They were also taking minute amounts of blood from the Prothonatary Warblers that were netted, as that species is one of the primary species that the kind Doc’s group is interested in helping avoid extinction.

I did a bit of walking around the area, which was birdy as could be. It was during one of my walks that I captured this Yellow Warbler. This is the Panama Race of Yellow Warbler, which like other endemic (non-migrating) yellow warblers, gets a red head as they mature. This would be a younger bird, not yet fully ‘colored up’ for the breeding season as it is early in the year.

Yellow Warbler-Panama Race-(young male)

Yellow Warbler-Panama Race

The next couple of subjects are two species of Woodcreeper. Woodcreepers are related to woodpeckers but instead of pecking, they probe and pry. The first one is the Straight Billed Woodcreeper. The second one is the Olivacious Woodcreeper.

Worth Two Birds in the Bush--Woodcreeper

Olivacious Woodcreeper--in the Hand

Lastly, I’ve got a nice shot of an American Pygmy Kingfisher that got himself in a tangle!

American Pygmy Kingfisher-In the Net



2 responses

1 03 2011
Leslie Lieurance

John –

Great shots and looks like a great day in a lively spot.

Angehr’s new book says the straight, whitish or pinkish bill is diagnostic for Straight-billed Woodcreeper. Also, white throat and malar area.

Keep your lens up!

1 03 2011

Muchisimo Gracias Leslie—I’ve seen that book and it’s great–and you’ve reminded me that I need to get it so that goes on the to do list for today.

Best to ya!

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