Springtime = Best Time!

Spring is possibly my favourite time of year for many reasons:

– My birthday falls in Spring (I turned 25 – and survived!);
– Classes wrap up in Spring (I defended my Master’s proposal last week and am now officially an MSc candidate!);
– Temperatures and conditions shape up for GREAT climbing (Graham and I leave for Smith Rock in two days!!);
– Birds undertake their long migration journeys towards breeding territories!!
I was out at Iona Bird Observatory with Wild Research this morning (5:30am start – when I return in two weeks, it’ll be a 4:45am start!) to volunteer for their six week bird migration banding program. As a first timer I was mostly watching and learning  – there is so much to take in!
I got to see my FIRST Common Yellowthroat:
As well as an adorable Lincoln’s Sparrow and Hermit Thrush.
I learned a bit about aging birds based on plumage, as is being done with this American Robin:
I also learned “Bander’s Grip”, the first and safest bird handling technique, and got to hold an American Goldfinch:

…a Ruby-crowned Kinglet:

…and a Spotted Towhee:
It’s incredible the detail you can see on birds this close.
Off to Oregon now – more awesome bird and climbing updates to come!!

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