Saturday, October 05, 2013

Big Bald Birding Banding Station 2013

We returned to the Big Bald Bird Banding Station the first weekend of October. It was a beautiful early-Fall day. Bright sun. Light breeze. Warm temperatures. Just right for spending a day on the mountain top.

Big Bald is about three miles northbound on the Appalachian Trail from Sam's Gap. The gap is easy to find on a map: start down I-26 out of Johnson City, Tennessee, towards Asheville, North Carolina, and when you hit the state line you've arrived at Sam's Gap.

There were five of: two students from Haywood Community College; the biologist in charge; and two of us from the Herndon Chapter of TOS.

We had a good day banding: 44 individuals; 14 Swainson's thrush, 10 Tennessee warblers, 7 Ruby-crowned kinglets and a smathering of 7 other species. Two days before the crew (not us!) banded 69 individuals which is more than enough work!

Each banding requires an identification, weight, various measurements, and age. We get lucky and can re-capture previously banded birds including our own.

In the photos you can see one was Eastern Towhee and the second a Black-throated blue warbler.

We were visited by but didn't get to tag a Robin, Blue-headed vireo. We saw also a Turkey vulture and a red-tailed hawk but of course they were not likely to get in our nets.

This was our first visit to Big Bald this year. We are very fortunate to have such a spot to visit and enjoy the outdoors as well as help out a bit.


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