Greenish bycatch

I just noticed that I forgot to post the last bycatch of the season. Whoops! Here it is—only about three months late.

Adult Green-tailed Towhee

2013_bycatch4_adtowhee2When I saw my first Green-tailed Towhee, I had only just moved to California and was not at all familiar with western birds. I remember looking through my binoculars at the bird singing from the top of a tuft of sagebrush, memorizing traits in order to look it up in my bird guide, and thinking “No way am I going to find this. This is going to be one of those birds that I’m seeing in a weird light so that I’ll never be able to ID it, and I’ll tell people, ‘I swear it was green with a red cap!’ and they’ll never believe me.” But then there it was in my Sibley’s: green with a red cap. I love these birds.



Juvenile Green-tailed Towhee

The juvie looks to me like someone put a junco fledgling’s head and shoulders on an adult Green-tailed Towhee’s body. He has those green towhee wings and tail, but the head is streaky brown and the breast is patterned.


2013_bycatch4_juvtowhee3Also he hates me more than the adult.


Juvenile MacGillivray’s Warbler

Kia extracting the warbler from the net

Kia extracting the warbler from the net

2013_bycatch4_macwarbler2I don’t immediately think of this bird as green the way I do the towhee, but he actually is quite green on the back.



Note the broken eye ring. Field marks like that are considerably easier to see when you have the bird in your hand!2013_bycatch4_macwarbler5

Brown Creeper

Okay, this guy isn’t green. He is the third (or fourth, if you count the young fledgling) Brown Creeper we caught this year, making him our most-caught bycatch. (And if you’ve been keeping track, you’ll notice that we caught zero Yellow-rumped Warblers this year, which is crazy since we caught something like six of them last year.)

2013_bycatch4_creeper1Brown Creepers always look grumpy. This one liked to turn his head in funny ways.



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