Hog Island Adventure Part 4-Fun with Banding

The morning of the 27th I woke up early again for the 5:45 AM bird banding session with one of the staff, Sara Morris. There was a nice surprise on the railing at the top of some stairs outside one of the buildings: a Luna Moth! This was really cool and I can’t believe it let us get within a few inches of us. The moth pretty much stayed all day and we came back to check on him some periodically. We put up mist nets which are soft and have small holes and have little pockets in them so the bird hits the net and falls into the pocket. We only captured and banded a female Song Sparrow but while we were waiting, Sara showed us some of the bands and told us about the process and the different species she bands. When the bird was caught, she showed us exactly how to band the bird and also how to check where it was in the breeding process by blowing its feathers to reveal a pouch that was a certain size. Then she held the bird up to our ears so we could hear the heartbeat and it sounded like a purr it was so fast!! The bird was also very warm and softer than the softest blanket or pillow! It was my first time banding (or at least seeing the process) and it was really cool! After breakfast, we took the boat and went to Harbor Island for a short walk on which I did not get any lifers but it was still fun and we got to walk through a cave-like area. Our objective for the walk was to find Red Crossbills but we did not quite see them. Later in the afternoon, we went banding again with Sara and we banded a Black-throated Green Warbler which was really cool to see up close! After that, I went to a workshop being done by Julie Zickefoose, one of the best bird painters in the country, who talked to us about her tips for watercolor painting. The presentation was fantastic and her paintings are so marvelous! Overall it was a fun day and I learned a lot. Here is the list from Harbor Island:
Black Guillemot 3
Laughing Gull 20
Double-crested Cormorant 30
American Goldfinch 5
Yellow Warbler 3
Chipping Sparrow 1
Common Yellowthroat 1
American Redstart 1
White-throated Sparrow 2
Cedar Waxwing 3

Luna Moth
Common Ringlet
The showcase box that held all of the different size bands