We are in the midst of American Goldfinch heaven.
Every year at this time we are quite busy banding the spring migrants that come through. Jan and I often refer to our property as “Goldfinch Ridge”. For about two weeks the goldfinches are by far the most common birds in our mist nets.
However we are delighted at the surprise birds we also catch like yesterday’s (April 25) Ruby-crowned Kinglets , the first we have caught since moving here in 2010.
Since bird banding is weather dependent, when we have high winds and/or rainy days we can’t put out the nets and the birds at our feeders don’t get banded. So far this spring the weather has cooperated. Last Thursday, April 23, we trapped and banded 121 new birds. Ninety-three were American Goldfinches. As of today we have banded 344 goldfinches. Our spring banding operations will end soon as we will be traveling to idyllic scenic areas in WV to lead bird walks and wilderness hikes, teach about wildflowers and speak at nature-related events. As I write this Jan is playing in the gardens planting future meals in the raised beds and sunflowers (future meals for birds) in various places on the property…and keeping a watchful eye on the two mist nets set up to catch the birds migrating through toward their northern breeding grounds.