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.

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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.

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2013_bycatch4_juvtowhee3Also he hates me more than the adult.

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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.

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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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