Friday, October 11, 2013

Returning Ruby-crowned Kinglet

For those who are not aware, I run the Wekiva Basin Banding Station along the Little Wekiva River out at Lake Lotus in Altamonte Springs, Florida. The NEXRAD radars have been showing huge amounts of birds migrating lately so I thought I would do a little ground-truthing to see if anything had decided to land. Seems like the weather has been very good for traveling of late so there have not been many birds actually stopping on their trek. Good for them, slow for birders.

I did not see a lot of birds out there but I could only arrive after 9 AM and most of the good activity wraps up around then. Plus, ground crews were making a lot of noise along the Little Wekiva on the park side so there was not much chance of seeing many species. I did hear some buntings so I hope to capture some next Sunday.

I headed out but was compelled to stop and go out close to the river at one point. Just had a feeling, ya know? As I scanned to branches hanging over the river I spotted some movement and raised my binoculars. Could it be? Yes! My first Ruby-crowned Kinglet of the season.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

I thought I noticed something else about this Ruby-crowned Kinglet. It was flitting about so quickly so it was making photographs difficult but I kept trying. I had to confirm my suspicions. Ah, yes. There it is. See it?

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Magnified to 200% might help. This is a Ruby-crowned Kinglet we have banded in the past! It has returned on its long journey, perhaps many times. Only recapturing it will let us know for sure and next Sunday is our first chance to find out.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Banding is a science that allows us to track birds as they move through our world (or as we move through theirs) and catching them in the first place is a bit of luck. More difficult is recapturing them in the future to derive any real data. We do recapture a number of birds as they return. Site fidelity is one of the things we look for and birds are amazing in the way they will return to the exact same spot year after year, often to the day, during migration.

Time will tell and I will post an update if we recapture this bird.

Oh, one more thing I almost forgot! I often watch for reflections on spider webs after first seeing one years ago. As I walked past Net 6 I noticed a Spiny Orb Weaver making a web. The Sun was shining brightly through the trees and with just a little tug...rainbows.

Spiny Orb Weaver

Just have to stop and look and the wonders will appear.

No comments: