Intern Blog

Carolina Beach State Park is the place to be!

Just another day doing another observation session at the State Park.  Wasn't expecting a whole lot; I mean, you go, set up, and wait for the birds to come in.  But boy, was I wrong today.  I definitely saw a lot of birds in the three hours I was there.  84 recordings of activity at the feeder.  A lot of "repeat offenders" to the feeder though.  But also a lot of "dine and dash" unbanded green birds. Read more »

Another beautiful day at Carolina Beach State Park!

Another beautiful day at Carolina Beach State Park!  Pretty slow day though as far as feeding activity; not many birds today (in my two hours).  Did see a husband and wife come out and observe the painted buntings as well; camera and all.  I wish I had a good camera to take good pictures of the birds.  Anyway, today's session has made me question a few things though, mainly my recordings of the bands. Read more »

Did Hurricane Irene scare the buntings away?

I’ve been doing some observing at the Fort Fisher Aquarium and State Park, and have noticed that there weren’t as many birds as before!  I think Hurricane Irene may have scared them off, but the ones that I did see were mostly unbanded which was interesting.  Also, I’ve been noticing that the grown male birds aren’t around as much anymore, but that the young green birds with molting may be males!  They look so different when they have molting, more like finches.  It’s hard to recognize them!  Other than that, observing is going well.

So many green birds!

I have been spending more time at Carolina Beach State Park and the Fort Fisher Recreation Center, and have noticed that I see more green birds than male birds! Also, a lot of the green birds have molting on their heads and bodies which look really interesting. I also saw that a green unbanded bird is continuing to feed another unbanded bird that stays on the branch above the feeder at the State Park, it was really cute. Also, the birds are starting to come back and feed for seconds and thirds I’ve noticed.

Observing a banded greenie feed its fledgling at Carolina Beach State Park

Observation Session at Carolina Beach State Park from 15:30-20:00. The observations today were much different than my first session because there were a plethora of un-banded green birds today that were using the feeder. I saw very few banded birds, and the great majority of the birds that I saw today were un-banded greenies. It was very interesting today as well because I saw one banded greenie come back to the feeder numerous times and I was able to see it feeding another greenie that was un-banded. Read more »

Enjoying banding sessions in NC

After having gone to a few banding sessions, I'm loving it.  We band the unbanded birds with new bands, 2 on each leg, and record the already-banded birds into data sheets.  Everyone's houses I've gone to to band have been so welcoming and nice, it was a lot of fun!  We recently did a banding session at Fort Fisher Aquarium, and we caught so many, it was great practice!  I hope to do more banding sessions soon, those are my favorite.

40 birds in 5 hours! The hectic day of a late-summer bander...

Today was a great banding day! Heather, Chelsea, and I went to the Aquarium at Fort Fisher with the hopes of banding (maybe) 10 birds – we ended up banding over 20 and recapturing about the same amount! That’s over 40 birds in 5 hours! That’s definitely a record for our sites here in NC. For the first few hours, I was the “runner”, the person who gets the birds from the traps and puts them in individual bags while Chelsea and Heather worked on banding and recording. Read more »

A slow day for buntings, but not for one of their biggest threats!

Today was a really slow day in terms of catching Buntings. We only caught 3 total- 2 new and 1 recapture- but I did the measurements and bands for all three of them. I am completely comfortable now with banding, and I feel like I would be able to do it alone if I was allowed to. The only complaint I had about today was that there were stray cats all over the place and we had to scare them off about every 15 or so minutes!

Getting comfortable with (and during!) banding

After completing 3 banding sessions in 2 days, I’m wiped!  I have been joining Liz to practice my banding skills and it’s getting easier and easier each time.  We only caught a couple birds at each site, but I still learned a lot.  I’m just about able to assess and band a bird entirely by myself!  Also, the homeowners at the sites were amazing!  It’s such a bonus to have homeowners offer us food and drinks during our 5 hour shifts.  In case we don’t say it enough, we really appreciate your hospitality!

My Painted Bunting experience so far...

I had no idea what to expect when I started this internship, but I was excited. I bought a lawn chair at Walmart and took it out to Carolina Beach State Park and Fort Fisher Airforce Recreation Center to observe. My observations so far at the State Park have gone very well, I’ve noticed mostly male birds with a few green birds. I tended to spend more time at the State Park than the Airforce Recreation Center because it was easier to locate the bands on the birds’ ankles from the angle I was sitting at. Read more »