1-7 May 2000

Installment #---Visitor #

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  • The end of April and first half of May are indeed exciting times at Hilton Pond Center. Weather permitting, we run a full complement of mist nets for the entire period, trying to catch as many spring migrant birds as possible. Even on days when there's no big influx, it's worth setting up just to see what might hit the nets. Such was the case on May Day (1 May) when a Swainson's Warbler (Limnothlypis swainsonii) became the 122nd species to be banded and the 162nd species observed at Hilton Pond Center. The Swainson's Warbler--seldom seen because it is secretive AND scarce--has a rusty cap, gray-brown back and wings, and a bill that can only be called "huge" compared to other warblers. A ground-feeder, it nests rarely in South Carolina in Coastal Plain canebrakes and Blue Ridge rhododendron thickets, but not at all in the Piedmont. Click on the photo above for a larger image. (Photo © Hilton Pond Center)

  • Since this has been such an interesting week for capturing and banding birds at Hilton Pond Center, that's what all of this week's phenology notes are about (see bird photos below).

All photos © Hilton Pond Center

Swainson's Warbler
(click on photo for larger image)

Swamp Sparrow
(gray face, rusty crown & shoulder)

Eastern Bluebird (male)
(cavity-nesting thrush species)

Downy Woodpecker (male)
(females don't have have a red topknot)

Wood Thrush
(largest of our spot-breasted thrushes)

Blue Jay
(both sexes look alike)

Blue Grosbeak
(rusty shoulder & massive two-tone bill)

(a spot-breasted thrush with no eye-ring)

House Wren
(one of our more melodious singers)

Scarlet Tanager (male)
( . . . and this is as good as it gets!)

Plus the following species not pictured (or pictured on other weekly pages):

American Redstart
Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
Black-and-white Warbler
Blue-winged Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Magnolia Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Indigo Bunting
Northern Waterthrush
Red-eyed Vireo
Gray Catbird
Northern Cardinal
Swainson's Thrush
Carolina Wren
White-throated Sparrow
Brown Thrasher
American Robin
Common Grackle
Mourning Dove

All photos © Hilton Pond Center

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Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History is a non-profit research & education organization in York, South Carolina USA; phone (803) 684-5852. Directed by Bill Hilton Jr., aka The Piedmont Naturalist, it is the parent organization for Operation RubyThroat. Contents of this Web site--including articles and photos--may NOT be duplicated, modified, or used in any way except with the express written permission of Hilton Pond Center. All rights reserved worldwide. To obtain permission for use or for further assistance on accessing this Web site, contact the Webmaster.