The lesson of MAPS banding on June 14 was that the only thing worse than water in the net lanes and over a foot of water on the path to the meadow nets – is a hole in your boot. Water. Everywhere. Places that in ten years never had standing water in June were wet – and muddy. Due to the high amount of clay in soils, the mud was also slippery making walking a slow go. But regardless, 17 new birds were banded, and 2 birds were re-captured. The first Wood Thrush of the season was banded – a male that had been singing in the woods for 2-3 weeks.

Adult Male Wood Thrush Photo by Tom Kotzbach

Adult Male Wood Thrush.  Photo by Tom Kotzbach

The parade of American Robins and Red-winged Blackbirds continued, including a male American Robin who had a wing chord of 137mm.

American Robin. Photo by Tom Kotzbach

American Robin. Photo by Tom Kotzbach

Cedar Waxwings are now in the area in force and several of them were banded – with the difference in numbers of waxy tips allowing for a good comparison between younger and older birds.

Bobolinks and Eastern Meadowlarks were seen and heard, the former having moved further to the south in the remaining meadow and the latter in and around un-mowed portions of lawn and around the edges of meadow. Barn Swallows would fly straight at a net and at the last second just clear the top panel of the mist net. There were multiple Tree Swallows in the area as parents attended to nestlings in two nestboxes. A Northern Mockingbird continues to stay in the area and has the Eastern Bluebird churl down pat. Multiple Baltimore Orioles were again heard. Thank you to Gary, Marilyn and Pat for their help! Tom Klotzbach

Using Birds to Build Bridges

Comments Off on Using Birds to Build Bridges

Thursday June 27, 2013:  Today, Emily and I headed down to Baker Park in Canandaigua to participate in their “Animal Exploration” summer day camp.  The day camp supports Bridges for Brain Injury, a local organization that raises awareness of and provides services to people affected by brain injuries.  Today, thirty children between the ages of 6 and 12 were at the camp, and they were treated to a walk through the woods to see the nets, close-up views of birds in the hand, and the always-popular kid-friendly “beanie baby net.”  The kids were fantastic, and asked many excellent questions such as “why do people band birds?” and “do the bands ever get too small for the birds?” and “Do birds remember where their nests are?”.

Emily bands a Cardinal as eager campers look on.

Emily bands a Cardinal as eager campers look on.

We set opened five nets at 9:30 and closed them at 11:30, and captured a total of 7 birds . . . one adult American Robin, four juvenile Robins, and two male Northern Cardinals.  While these birds may not be terribly exciting for banders or for birders in NY, they were great for the kids.  They see these birds in their yards, but it is a completely different experience to see them up close, and in some ways I think it is more meaningful to the kids.  Emily and I were really hoping we’d catch one of the four woodpecker species we heard (including a Pileated that sat just  a few feet from a net, flew toward it and then veered off as we watched!), but overall we counted the day a success.  Andrea Patterson


Comments Off on MAPS PERIOD 6 AT DCBO

Sunday June 23, 2013

Henry, Becky, Rodney and I waited for a bit. While we were waiting we set up the Screened Canopy. After that I set up the banding station while Mr. Olsen and Henry set up the nets.

Sunrise at DCBO.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Sunrise at DCBO. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Claire came after six clock to help us once again! So far Claire, Henry, and Mr. Olsen have not missed a day of MAPS. They’ll most likely get perfect attendance this season.  Becky brought her famous Chocolate Chip Cookies that everyone likes.

Bird of the day was Black-capped Chickadee with 7 banded.  We got our first Hatching Year birds which were: American Robin, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, and Common Grackle.  It was another slow MAPS session with 25 birds and 17 retraps. New for 2013 season are: Brown Thrasher, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, and Common Grackle. Becky’s friend from Texas came again brought Donuts again and brownies this time.  It was a good day to have the screened canopy with some spotted showers in the morning and it kept us dry and mosquito free. We think the reason it is slow at MAPS has something to due with the rain and the wind.

With Warren out, Ryan was able to catch up some on being the top bander.  Missing in action Warren, Brendan, Lisa and Ethan.

Ryan Kayhart


Comments Off on HANA MAPS

June 21, 2013: 16 newly banded birds, 18 recaps.

Our numbers have fallen since opening two weeks ago.  I’m hopeful they will revive, however. All in all a rather slow and dull day.  A misty morning started us off, and many of us took advantage for photos.

Sunrise at HANA.  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Sunrise at HANA. Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

The dew settled on a lot of our nets from the night previous, and some minor adjustments slowed net opening.  We captured the usual High Acres suspects; Gray Catbirds, Song Sparrows, and Yellow Warblers for the most part.

Of note, we captured a pair of Brown-headed Cowbirds in the net beside one another.  They were banded simultaneously, photographed simultaneously, and then released simultaneously.

Our next banding session is July 5th and we hope that this longer hiatus from banding in the nature area will allow the numbers to rebound.

Samantha Gonzalez



Sunday June 16, 2013

We started the 2013 MAPS season small.   Henry. Rodney and I set up nets at 4:45am and we made the first net check about 5:30. It was a windy start but not really blowing and cool. We had 22 new and 15 retraps; 12 species. New for this year’s MAPS season is: Black-billed Cuckoo,  Hairy Woodpecker, Wood Thrush, and Ovenbird.

Wood Thrush banded at Dead Creek.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Wood Thrush banded at Dead Creek. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Overall it was slow until 10:00am. We had 11 birds on that net run. It was our busiest run of the day! And our only busy run. The kids loved helping release the birds for us.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with five banded.

Warren came right about then to help out.  About an hour later Claire showed up. Ryan got added  on the board for top bander for 2013. But he is behind Claire, Warren, and Mr. Olsen.

Becky’s friends from Texas came and brought donuts plus apple crumb muffins.  Some college students came and Rodney’s co–worker Betsy Stine and her three granddaughters came and joined us  again.  Becky Trombley’s chocolate chip cookies and her muffins were missed, as well as Becky  herself.  Brendan Collins, Lisa and Ethan Sausville were also missing.

At the end of the day Henry pulled a Black-billed Cuckoo from net number 9 near the bottom.  When Claire pulled the bird out of the bag, everyone was surprised to see it.  It was a MAPS first at Dead Creek!  Henry said that is the best bird of the season.  But who will get the award – Henry or Claire? Claire for banding it or Henry for taking it out of the net?

Black-billed Cuckoo showing bright red orbital ring.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Black-billed Cuckoo showing bright red orbital ring. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Other highlights were a Wood Thrush which was originally banded July 22, 2011 and our third Hairy Woodpecker at Dead Creek.

Our next banding is scheduled for Sunday June 23, 2013 and the rain date is June 29, 2013.

Ryan Kayhart



June 2, 2013.

We woke up bright and early for our first MAPS session of the year. It was a beautiful morning but with a chance of rain. The crew consisted of all three Trombleys, Rodney, and Warren. It was a pretty average day consisting of catbirds, Song Sparrows, and Yellow Warblers, with nothing out of the ordinary, but still exciting since it was our first day. After all, we can’t be “speciest”!

This year we have decided to supplement our data with more information about molt limits. It was a challenge at first but we are finally getting the hang of it.

Studying wing molt in a Cedar Waxwing.

Studying wing molt in a Cedar Waxwing.

Around 9:00 the rain came and we closed down.  We ended up with a total of 37 birds.  Claire Trombley


Comments Off on HANA MAPS REPORT JUNE 15 2013

HANA June 15: 29 adult birds of 12 species banded, 3 hatch-years, 19 recaps. 48 species observed in the study area, a couple of nests observed as well. Ten volunteers came out to enjoy the day, including several RIT alumni and BBBO veterans.  Many able ears and hands were available for helping. Some highlights included the babies, a hatch year Northern Cardinal and a hatch year American Robin.  At this age the robins look more like thrushes than ever, with some speckling on the breast.

Juvenile American Robin

Juvenile American Robin

We also had a couple of gorgeous grackles, and a pair of American Goldfinch.

Pair of American Goldfinch

Pair of American Goldfinch

One interesting capture was a decidedly second year Warbling Vireo that was already banded.  However, it was not banded at HANA!  We caught someone else’s vireo!  Very cool.  Also cool was a male Rose-breasted Grosbeak, who perched just long enough for us to get a photo showing his band.

Adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Adult male Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Finally, my favorite bird of the day and my favorite bird of all, we captured an after-third year male yellow-shafted flicker! Looking at the primary coverts it was a textbook aging call as an after third year, truly a perfect specimen.

Most of the crew!

Most of the crew!

All in all it was a great day with many interesting captures.

Samantha Gonzalez

HANA Period 4

Comments Off on HANA Period 4

41 adult birds of 13 species banded, 1 hatch-year Song Sparrow, 11 recaps. 47 species observed in the study area, a handful already confirmed as local breeders.  Using our recently acquired and adapted roll-off, seven volunteers came out to High Acres Nature Area to start the third year of banding and birding for the MAPS program. Highlights included one particularly handsome female Red-winged Blackbird, a startlingly bright male Yellow Warbler, and the station’s first Common Yellowthroat banded.  There was also a good number of Wood Thrushes and Veerys; we had more banded and processed today than we had at the station all of last summer!

I also want to express my gratitude to Juliet Hildreth from Waste Management for making the roll-off/banding station conversion a possibility. The convenience and comforts that the roll-off are already providing this summer can’t be measured and we’re rather lucky to have it.  Thank you! Now for some pictures!  Samantha Gonzales

Female Red-winged Blackbird

Female Red-winged Blackbird

This Gray-cheeked Thrush was banded on 6/9, which is getting pretty late for this species.  They breed in northern Canada, so he (or she!) still has a long trip before nesting.

This Gray-cheeked Thrush was banded on 6/9, which is getting pretty late for this species. They breed in northern Canada, so he (or she!) still has a long trip before nesting.  Photo by Dominic Sherony.

Colin helps us check the nets

Colin helps us check the nets

Our new banding shelter!  Storage, shade, and style!

Our new banding shelter! Storage, shade, and style!

Signs of Salmonella in a Feeder Bird

Comments Off on Signs of Salmonella in a Feeder Bird

Friday June 7, 2013.  Kathy Hapgood discovered this obviously sick Pine Siskin yesterday at her feeder.

Sick Pine Siskin Photo by Kathy Habgood

Sick Pine Siskin
Photo by Kathy Habgood

Another view ... Photo by Kathy Habgood

Another view …
Photo by Kathy Habgood

Today she found it dead.  It is quite probable that the bird was infected with Salmonella.  Siskins are one of three species most often affected by this pathogen.  Wildlife officials’ advice is that if you find sick birds at your feeder, take the feeders down and disinfect them.   Use gloves to pick up the dead bird,  and wash your hands thoroughly.  You probably should just stop feeding the birds for awhile.  There is plenty of natural food available for them at this time of the year.

Thanks, Kathy, for sharing these photos.  Betsy Brooks



What was supposed to be a cooler day on May 31 turned out to be 88 degrees, sunny, humid, and slightly windy. There were 23 new birds banded and 5 inter-season recaps (Gray Catbird, Yellow Warbler (2), Red-winged Blackbird and Northern Cardinal). New species at this location were Great-crested Flycatcher and Baltimore Oriole.

The South meadow had its three nets setup with Bobolinks and meadowlark heard and seen throughout the morning. With the plowing of the North meadow however, the nesting area for Bobolinks has been affected.

Two male Baltimore Orioles were caught in a net near some weeping willows with a third male busily trying to join them. It was a good contrast in age as one male was a second year; the other an after second year.

A Savannah Sparrow gladly pointed out to us a hole in the bottom of a bird bag after being picked out of a mist net. A female Eastern Meadowlark was caught in a South meadow net, while another meadowlark found a net but flew off while we were walking over. A Northern Mockingbird reminded us of his presence by perching several times on a net pole. Later in the session, we had good looks at a couple of American Kestrels flying around the area. At the conclusion of banding and as nets were being closed down, a Wood Thrush was prominently heard as we exited the woods.

Unfortunately, the camera lens used for photos is out for repair so no usable pictures were possible of the orioles, and the images of the Great-crested Flycatcher and Eastern Meadowlark are not up to par.

A couple of initial observations to the start of the 2013 season. First, the numbers of observed Baltimore Orioles, Red-Winged Blackbirds, and Eastern Meadowlarks are higher than the last two years. Second, no Bobolinks were banded or recaptured the opening session – which has not been the case before.

Thank you to Gary and Bob for their help!

The next scheduled session is Friday, June 14 and NOT June 12 due to a 70% chance of rain. This will probably be the last session before the South meadow is mowed. Tom Klotzbach

Older Entries