Doreen Cubie arrived at my yard this morning around 7:15 AM in hopes of
trapping a banded female Rufous who was assumed to be the same one banded by
Fred Bassett in November of 2003. That Rufous was then trapped again in
January of 2005 but avoided the trap in 2006 and 2007. I was able to
photograph 4 digits of her band in August of 2007.
We set up a borrowed cage that Doreen had recently picked up from Bob
Sargent in one of the Rufous' preferred spots, which is also where I'd hung
a trainer cage the past couple of days, and she almost immediately entered
the cage. Unfortunately, I'd left the feeder port facing the door and she
was nervous, refusing to sit on the perch, and she kept rapidly dipping in
for a sip and then pulling out of the door to look around. Having a slightly
itchy trigger finger, I allowed the trap door to close about an inch,
scaring her away. Doreen's earlier warning of 'you may only get one chance,
make sure she's in the cage, then close quickly' was weighing heavily on my
mind at that point.
An adult male Ruby-throat quickly entered the cage after the departure of
the Rufous and was trapped. Doreen had trapped one in the front yard as
well. As she was processing them, the Rufous returned and quickly entered
the cage and was easily caught. At the same time, Doreen was removing a
second bird from the front yard trap as well. We quickly processed the
Rufous confirming the number, N62404. It is her!!!
Thanks to Bob for the cage, Doreen for her time today, and to Fred for all
he's done here in the past as well as his part in arranging today's session.
In the end, in about an hour, we banded 4 adult male, one second year male,
and one female Ruby-throateds in addition to confirming the identity of the
female Rufous. Seven birds in about an hour. And, I've been hesitant to say
much about the birds in my yard because I'm not seeing the usual activity
that I've seen in the past few years.
I had other concerns with today as well as I woke up with a vicious
headache, it was 37 degrees when I got up this morning, and when I turned on
the news this morning just before Doreen was due to be here (traveling from
Orlando) I saw that the portion of I-4 that had the 70 car pile-up was
again closed. Not a bad day after all.
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