A few more photos from my walk in the woods with a complete stranger:
A robin was extracted from the nets, but was not banded:
This is the leg of a robin infected with avian pox. As you can see, this leg ends in...mostly nothing.
Avian pox is caused by a virus that infects the mucus membranes, and featherless areas of the body (eyes, beak and feet). Transmission can be via mosquito bites and through direct contact with an infected bird. (This is NOT a disease that has been shown to affect humans).
There is no known treatment. Captive birds can be vaccinated with a live virus vaccine, but wild birds are on their own.
The disease had begun on the other leg, too. The skin of the right leg showed signs of skin breakdown and a few of the toenails have degraded.
This is also NOT avian conjunctivitis.
This robin was released without a band and we wished it well.
A band recovery:
For the life of me, I can't remember what kind of bird this was. (UPDATE: Female Wood Thrush)
Les can tell us. And he can also tell us if he got any info on when this bird was banded. (UPDATE: Last year)
Ever wonder what a brood patch looks like? Well, here ya go:
(Les is blowing the feathers while I shoot the photo)
Brood patches show up on birds during the breeding season. This featherless bit of skin is highly vascularized to transfer heat to incubated eggs. Most birds lose the feathers in this area automatically, but some species like ducks and geese, pull the feathers out themselves and line their nests with them.
As Les so eloquently put it, "It's like a coat with a zipper." :)
The position of the brood patch varies by species. Some species have a single patch, like the above bird, while others, like shorebirds, have a patch on either side of their belly.
Gulls and galliformes (game birds) can have three patches.
Gannets, pelicans and boobies (stop laughing) do not form brood patches, but cradle the eggs on their feet while incubating.
If the male and female of the species both share incubation duties, both of them can develop brood patches.
All that you ever wanted to know about brood patches, but were afraid to ask.
There is so much more in the woods than birds:
I seem to have gotten over my oogie-ness with holding bugs, I guess since Paco handed me a huge inchworm at Muddlety.
Even the evidence of long-ago bugs is cause to grab the camera:
Can't wait to get back out there....