The Manomet Banders

We ended the week with 309 new birds banded and 135 repeats processed. This brings our season totals up to 586 new birds banded and 495 repeats processed. New species for the week included Ruby-throated Hummingbird, House Wren, Worm-eating Warbler, Blue-winged Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Baltimore Oriole, and Northern Mockingbird. With 15 new species just this week, our species total for the season is up to 58 species.

High winds on Monday made for great weather to view large numbers of Northern Gannets sitting on the water and flying by. While scoping from the bluff, Evan spotted something odd floating in the water. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a dead Humpback Whale that continued floating until it was beached down the coast in Sandwich.

Banders with the senator.

South winds brought a nice push of migrants up the coast Wednesday, mostly comprised of Gray Catbirds. We processed 83 new birds and 36 repeats; 32 of the new birds were Gray Catbirds. Senator Vinny deMacedo visited Manomet Wednesday afternoon. After learning about the Banding Lab, its history, and how we process birds, he was given an opportunity to release a banded Eastern Towhee.

On Thursday, we had few birds in the nets but the property was active in other ways. Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs have been making use of the new habitat in the lower “Bennet” bog. With the water level lowered slightly, these long-legged waders have been seen gleaning aquatic invertebrates from the water. In between net runs, the banding crew sat on the bluff to bird and saw a group of seven crows fly down over the water and begin to harass and mob the Laughing Gulls and cormorants that were sitting on the rocks below. Evidently, this didn’t satisfy the crow’s goal and they continued to fly out farther, dive bombing Red-breasted Mergansers and gulls sitting on the water along the way. We theorized as to why the crows were flying far out and expending so much energy on this activity, thinking they may have been defending a nest nearby, or trying to steal food, or maybe just plain fun.

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