Sunday, September 06, 2009

Day One

Neither were passage birds but we did catch two. A good way to start trapping season, especially since its still so warm and the kestrels are keeping pretty full on grasshoppers.

This first one came down to a sparrow. It was tempting to keep her, look at those monster starling killing feet! (Click to englarge picture)

The second bird was an interesting catch for a couple reasons. We had thrown the BC with the sparrow in it in between two kestrels and backed off a hundred yards. We then noticed a third kestrel sitting right above us! I had brought some mice and was keeping them in an additional BC that I hadn't finished covering with nooses the night before, only one side of it was covered. We figured we couldn't pass up the opportunity though and decided to toss the mice out under this third kestrel. She hopped around on the trap for awhile but eventually got caught! As we were looking her over we noticed that she was till growing in her tail and it was the most interesting moulting pattern I've ever seen!

You can see the central tail feathers are fully grown in but the rest of the feathers are at varying stages the further out you go with the outter most feathers being the shortest. I was amazed at the uniformity of such a late moult!

Anyway, here was a victory shot we took shortly before both birds were released:


Doug said...

That first girl looks huge! Keep up the good work.


Isaac said...

Actual size wise she wasn't all that big. 138g with a sock and hood on. Her feet looked like definite killers though. Hope I don't regret turning her loose!

Mom N said...

Why are you releasing them? Just wondering.

Isaac said...

I want a young bird and both of those were older than I wanted.