Brittney Woody, assistant at the MRBO, removes a Tufted Titmouse from the mist nets while Dana watches. We banded 6 Tufted Titmice and there were still others without bands visiting the bird feeders. Several of the banded birds were observed coming right back to the feeders that day too! It will really help us get a better count of titmice that otherwise look alike at the Great Backyard Bird Count here on Sunday, February 19.
Here Ethan Duke (Assistant Director of the MRBO) holds a Black-capped Chickadee to show its new red band. We banded 10 Black-capped Chickadees and still saw others at the feeders without bands — there were far more chickadees coming to our feeders than I had thought!
We only caught one woodpecker: this male Downy Woodpecker with gorgeous black plumage complete with white polka dots! Only males have the red on the back of their head.
I am interested to observe our banded birds at the feeders this winter and wonder if we’ll see any of them nest or spend the summer in the garden. We caught one bird that was banded here by Craig Hensley last winter — but put a color band on it too so we can track it with binoculars now.
We will have Dana and Ethan from the Missouri River Bird Observatory back at the Gardens for some continued banding of the Powell Gardens’ birds so keep watch of these events if you want to see a wild bird up close and personal.
Photos by Roland Thibault