Monday, June 4, 2012

Cowbird Control

One of the things we got involved with while at Wichita Mountains NWR, was helping with cowbird control in the special use area.  We ran twelve traps with only two traps being outside the special use area.  This took us about four hours to complete the circuit.  This we enjoyed doing very much as those birds lay their eggs in other birds nest, then leave for others to take care of.  Their birds hatch and are so aggressive, they get all the food, grow faster, to the detriment of the good the Black-capped Vireo!

Quinton went out with us the first day to orient us to the area and show us how to do it.  This is the map where the traps are located and named for the location in which it is placed.

I think Quinton is laughing at Wallace's first attempt at catching the bird.  It was quite funny.  There is a "catch box" in the upper corner where the birds fly into making them easier to catch.  We try to keep 3 males and 2 females in the trap at all times to lure other birds into the trap.  We supply fresh water every day and make sure there is enough sunflower seed for them to eat.

The extra birds are put into this box with compartments and air holes, then they are distributed to other traps.  If we have an excess amount, they go into a holding pen for later use.

Now it's my turn.  The trouble is, I'm a little too short but.....

Ah, success is mine.

Break time, as I show Quinton a new bird for him.  A Dickcissel that was singing so loudly we could hear him from the truck.

This day we had a Yellow-headed Blackbird which I quickly released.  These are rare in this area!!!

This day we were greeted by the horses looking for a hand out.  There are several horses on the refuge that are used for corralling the longhorns and bison for auctioning off.

A look at the box with the compartments.  This was our last day of work at this refuge until we return in September and October.

The Basket Flowers were just starting to bloom!!!

Just a couple of landscapes taken in the special use area of the refuge while making our rounds. This is Gramma Lake.

We were introduced to Sand Plums.

I will sign off with one of my favorite photos in front of our rig!!!

Until next time...


  1. Get rid of those nasty ol' Cowbirds!!

    On to cool Colorado for the summer.


  2. Looks lke a job right up your alley! The pictures are great! Looking forward to pics from Colorado! :)