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HANA MAPS: July 24. 19 newly banded birds, 6 recaps.

We were finally looking forward to a nice cool day, hopefully having 100% of our net hours.  When we arrived in the morning, however cool it was (we were all even a little bit chilly!), the winds were surprisingly robust! There was some billowing, but not enough to close the nets and call it a day. I personally believe the higher winds contributed to our lower numbers, but it may just be that time of year where new hatch year birds start moving out of the nest.

We did have a couple of flycatchers within our numbers today, including both a Trail’s and a Least.  We have observed Least Flycatchers in the area previously, but I believe this is the first time we captured one and banded it.  It is pictured below, getting its bearings (or perhaps enjoying our warm hands!) before flying off.

Hatch Year Least Flycatcher Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Least Flycatcher.  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

We also had a rather yellow hatch year Song Sparrow that gave everyone pause.  We looked up Savannah Sparrows just to be certain, but indeed it was just a yellowish Song Sparrow. Melospiza melodia melodia.

Hatch Year Song Sparrow  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Hatch year Song Sparrow.  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Samantha Gonzalez



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Rodney,  Henry and I arrived at Dead Creek and it was raining so we waited it out in the car for about 10 minutes.  At 5:40 Henry and Rodney started to set up nets while I set up the banding equipment. We made the first round at 10 after six.  Shortly after Warren came, he volunteered to get some breakfast sandwiches for us since Becky, and her cookies and muffins were missing.  Also missing this period were Brendan, Lisa and Ethan.

At third net check Henry brought our first Marsh Wren of the season; the last was banded in the 2011 MAPS season.   Soon Claire arrived at Dead Creek.  We had her help us do net checks and some practice time net picking so she can be ready when she comes to Braddock Bay this coming fall.

After coming back for the 10:10 net run Henry brought back a bird in a bag and gave it to Claire. Henry said it was a puzzler.  So Rodney, Warren, Henry, Claire and myself were all puzzled over this bird.   We narrowed  it down between Veery, Swainson’s and Hermit Thrush.  We ruled out Hermit with lack of a reddish tail and Veery because it had more spots then Veery.  So that left Swanison’s Thrush but it did not have a complete buff eye ring.  Rodney looked at Pyle and asked Claire if P6 is emarginated. Claire says no. So there was no emargination on P6, and that told us that it was a Swainson’s thrush!  And it was our third banded at Dead Creek!

Henry and Rodney consulting Pyle.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Henry and Rodney consulting Pyle. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

P6 is NOT Emarginated!  It's a Swainson's Thrush!  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

P6 is NOT Emarginated! It’s a Swainson’s Thrush! Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Another highlight was Field Sparrow which is the first since the 2009 MAPS season. Today we banded 30 birds and we had 14 retraps. Bird of the day is Gray Catbird with 8 banded!  At closing time also I showed Claire how I properly close a net.

Our next MAPS banding date which is the last one is Tuesday July 30.    Ryan Kayhart


Comments Off on HANA MAPS JULY 15 2013

July 15, 2013. 50 newly banded birds, 6 recaps. MANY new hatch year birds.

A nice day for HANA, and a surprisingly high number for us at this time in the season.  The largest numbers we were seeing were in the hatch year catbirds, Song Sparrows, robins, and especially Yellow Warblers.  Skulling became common practice for the day.

Skulling For Everyone! Photos by Samantha Gonzalez

Skulling For Everyone!  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Some species we are just seeing for the first time this summer, included an Indigo Bunting, a handful of flycatchers, and a Swamp Sparrow.  Because we had some lull times, Dr. Waud and Andrea took the time and completed extra measurements to determine two of our flycatchers as Willow flycatchers.  Another note-worthy capture was an ATY yellow-shafted flicker.

All in all, it was a great day and we boosted our numbers considerably.  Net 14 on the causeway was very productive due to the fruiting shrubs.  I’m hopeful this net will continue to be giving us good numbers for the rest of the season.

Samantha Gonzalez



Sunday July 14, 2013

We had a very small crew to start with: Henry, Becky and me.   First at 10 minutes of 5 we got the banding station ready. Then Henry and I set up nets.  At about 6:30 Claire arrived to help out. It was nice relief after I was banding for the past half hour to hour of banding. Warren came late, Becky brought her famous chocolate chip cookies and her espresso chip muffins. Rodney was missing for the first time. Also absent – Brendan, Lisa, and Ethan.

We banded the first Eastern Wood Pewee at DCBO!  Other highlights were a Northern Flicker (yellow shafted), two Ovenbirds and a Veery.  Dead Creek had a flicker before but a it was not yellow shafted flicker. It was an intergrade and it was banded in 2008!  The second net run was our biggest net run; after that it slowed down. Mosquitoes made it hard to pick nets, because it has been so wet with the rain that we got in the middle part of May and almost every day in June.

Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 5 banded. plus new 26 and 20 retraps. Last bird of day was a Dead Creek first ever Eastern Wood Pewee! And it was in net next to a Traill’s Flycatcher.   It was a nice comparison between the two flycatchers.     Ryan Kayhart


Comments Off on DCBO MAPS JULY 5, 2013

Friday July 5, 2013

It was a small crew with Henry, me and Mr. Olsen.  Henry and I set up nets while Rodney was getting the banding station ready. Henry brought an American Woodcock back from the first net run from one of the back nets. The last woodcock that was banded was in 2009.

Rodney and I took turns banding and scribing since our scribe Becky was missing. Also missing: Brendan, Warren, Lisa, Ethan, and Claire. While Claire was absent from Dead Creek, Ryan was able to catch up in top bander.   And now that leaves Henry and Mr. Olsen for perfect attendance. But that could change for our next banding session!  With Mr. Olsen absent for next MAPS banding, it could leave Henry with perfect attendance!

At 7:00 Ryan pulled our first Mourning Dove out of the net and a Dead Creek first.

First-ever Mourning Dove banded at Dead Creek.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

First-ever Mourning Dove banded at Dead Creek. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Mr. Olsen brought  some kind of sticky tape that you put on your hat and it catches deer flies, and it was a contest to see who could catch more.

Mr. Olsen & Henry with sticky tape on their hats, trying to catch deer flies! Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Mr. Olsen & Henry with sticky tape on their hats, trying to catch deer flies!  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

I lost because I killed flies by hand and took the tape off because it got wrecked.  So I had minus 10 to start with. By almost the last net check Rodney and Henry tied. Last net check Mr.Olsen ended up with 6, Henry had 5, and I had minus 6

It was another slow MAPS period with 25 new birds with 18 retraps. The winds were not a factor.  So that could mean that it is either all the rain we have been getting or the small field towards the creek is corn now (not the right habitat).

Bird of the day is Gray Catbird with 5 banded.

Hatch year Gray Catbird.  Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Hatch year Gray Catbird. Photo by Ryan Kayhart

Following close behind is Song Sparrow with 4.   There were 3 species of HY Birds –  Song Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, and Gray Catbird.

Next banding date is Sunday July 14.    Ryan Kayhart



Monday July 8, 2013

This year marks the fifth year that the MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) program has run. It is the first year that one of the nets was not up for a session because it would have been set up in 5 inches of standing water. The lane has since drained to a soft mud consistency and all eight nets are being used.

When out making rounds to put up nets, I have been startled by as many as 3 deer bolting from their night resting places. On a separate occasion, another went through a net and destroyed it. On a third occasion, one was so startled it jumped into the lake for a swim to get away.

But, to get back to the birds I monitor. The number of newly banded birds to date is quite the same as last year, as are the number of recaptured birds. The largest number of newly banded are Yellow Warblers, Common Yellowthroats, catbirds, Song Sparrows and robins. Eastern Phoebes and Trail’s Flycatchers are being captured in larger numbers than previous years. For all the flocks of Cedar Waxwings we see looking down at us from the trees, only one has made it into a net. The number of recaptures are staying in the mid 20’s in total, as they did the year before. One of the Song Sparrows banded in 2009 has returned to net #3 for the past three years. Some species I recapture two years in a row and then don’t see them ever again. We have encountered 43 species this season. These are birds carrying nesting material, food,or fecal sacs or birds that are banded, singing or flying over. The nets capturing the most birds are the two nearest the lake and the two nearest the hedge rows along Manitou Beach Road.

The weather being so wet has caused a rapid growth of vegetation but surprisingly not a large mosquito population, yet! The crush of young birds is yet to come in the next three weeks, I hope. If not, the question will be, why not. Could it be birds start to remember where nets are from year to year and avoid them? After all, they have been born and raised in this area and many return to it the following year.  Marian Klik


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HANA July 5: 28 newly banded birds, of those 8 were hatch-year birds, 9 recaps.

Following the holiday a total of 15 volunteers filtered in and out of the banding station to help and most certainly to learn. As I previously speculated, our capture numbers have rebounded a bit. We especially had a good splay of species. Of note we had a hatch year Downy Woodpecker, and several other local and hatch year birds including robins, catbirds, and Yellow Warblers.

We also had a handsome couple of Cedar Waxwings, which we have had in the past but had not yet seen this year; one of them was ideal for counting waxy tips and measuring the yellow tips on the retrices.

Adult Cedar Waxwing Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Adult Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Samantha Gonzalez

Finally, we had an older male Red-winged Blackbird that showed well its underwing coverts.

In the study plot we also had a lot of vociferous Green Herons and an Eastern Bluebird as well, both of which I’m excited to have in the area.

The recent warm and muggy weather had us concerned and wary towards the later hours and at about 10am we decided it would be best to close some of our nets that are directly in the sunlight. This weather has been brutal!  However I believe it is worth noting that due to the increased rainfall (especially compared to last year!) I have anecdotally seen an increase in both insects about and the number and species varieties of berries available.  The insects were voracious during the day, but the berries have attracted some birds our way I believe.

Samantha Gonzalez



June 21 was a nice day to band with warm temperatures. Gooey mud is now the rule in several of the net lanes and the water on the way out to the meadow nets is still very high. However, in each of the three MAPS sessions to date, none has been cut short by rain or high winds, so we have been lucky in dodging inclement weather on banding day.

17 new birds were banded, and 4 birds were recaptured. A female Wood Thrush was banded – perhaps the mate of the male banded on May 14. A female Baltimore Oriole was also banded and several other Baltimore Orioles were seen.  Common Yellowthroats and Yellow Warblers are now being banded and a fledged Red-winged Blackbird was encountered.

Adult male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Tom Klotzbach

Adult male Common Yellowthroat. Photo by Tom Klotzbach

Young Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Tom Klotzbach

Young Red-winged Blackbird. Photo by Tom Klotzbach

Several Eastern Meadowlarks were seen throughout the day. An American Kestrel who must have a nest very close issued an alarm call a couple of times when we walked near a stand of trees. A Purple Martin was heard overhead and a Killdeer is again being heard, perhaps trying to find a place for a nesting site. There are many Tree Swallows flying about – undoubtedly the recently fledged nestlings of a nearby nestbox. Barn Swallows are also being seen in greater numbers this year with a Barn Swallow nest being built attached to a fluorescent light fixture in a nearby garage.

Thank you to Gary for your help!       Tom Klotzbach

A Cedar Waxwing dressed (a little) like a Bohemian

Comments Off on A Cedar Waxwing dressed (a little) like a Bohemian

Tuesday July 2, 2013.  We did a bit of summer banding today, and caught an interesting Cedar Waxwing.  It was a classic Cedar Waxwing in every respect except for one:  it had yellow spots on the tips of primaries 3-5 on each wing.

A Cedar Waxwing with just a hint of Bohemian-like spots

A Cedar Waxwing with just a hint of Bohemian-like spots

The spots are on primaries 3-5

The spots are on primaries 3-5

A close-up

A close-up