June 30, 2015
High Acres Nature Area (HANA) – June 26, 2015
With a crew of only three people, we had a busy day at HANA! We banded 29 birds of 9 different species. In addition we handled 13 recaptures. The fact that we are starting to see newly fledged birds, especially Yellow Warblers, made things even more interesting. Some of the young birds are barely recognizable. The day was also remarkable for the fact that we banded 6 unusually colored Song Sparrows (see photos). This led to a good discussion on sparrow identification!
Juvenile Song Sparrow. Young sparrows sometimes look quite different from adults, making summer banding a real challenge! Their breast streaking can be very different, and there is often a buffy or yellowish color to the face. Photo by Jim Saller.
David Mathiason deserves special thanks for walking the entire route and removing the birds from the nets all day. We estimated that he walked at least 10 miles! Jim Saller also deserves special thanks for scribing and for providing the attached photos.
Rose-breasted Grosbeak. This is a great example of one thing banders look for when aging birds. Did you the contrast between the black and brown feathers on the wings? That’s a molt limit! The brown feathers are juvenile feathers that the bird grew in the nest, and the black feathers are fresher feathers that come from a later molt. An older adult bird would be uniformly black, which means this is a second-year bird. Photo by Jim Saller.
This handsome garter snake was evidently checking out the banding lab . . . .Photo by Jim Saller
John Waud – Bander in Charge
June 17, 2015
Through the Woods to Check the Nets
Photo by Ryan Kayhart
Waiting for the Next Net Check!
Photo by Ryan Kayhart
Saturday June 13, 2015. 26 new birds and 13 retraps.
The crew started with Ryan, Henry, Becky, and BIC Brendan. We had everything set up on time (around 5:30 AM). Lisa and Ethan came to help out.
The bird of the day was Yellow Warbler with 8 banded!
It was a nice day with very little wind.
Becky brought muffins and two types of cookies – Chocolate Chocolate Chip and regular Chocolate Chip!
Henry banded his first bird of the season … the third Red-eyed Vireo banded – and the bird I poached last summer!
So far this season, Brendan, Henry, Becky and I have perfect attendance. Missing today was Mr. Olsen and Claire Trombley. Claire will be BIC on our next banding session which will be Tuesday June 23, 2015 (rain date Monday June 29).
June 14, 2015
Sunday June 13, 2015: After dodging the early morning rain, the team of volunteers was able to complete the second Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) session. We banded 21 new birds and had 9 recaptures. Even though the numbers were a little low, we had a nice variety of species. By far the most interesting bird of the day was a recaptured Veery, which was banded as an After Second Year Bird in 2011. This means that this bird is at least seven years old!
Birds are not the only interesting organisms at High Acres Nature Area. Barbara Wagner, one of the MAPS volunteers, took the attached photograph of a snake attempting to swallow a snail which appears to be too wide to be eaten. At the very least, you have to admire the snake’s ambition! –
A Northern Water Snake attempts to eat a snail. It looks like he is trying to swallow the whole shell . . . but most snail-eating snakes pull the snail from the shell with their teeth.
June 11, 2015
Dawn at Dead Creek
Photo by Ryan Kayhart
SY Male American Redstart
Photo by Ryan Kayhart
Saturday June 6, 2015
Henry, Brendan, Mr. Olsen, Becky and I got the place set-up. Ryley and Brendan’s son Quinn helped for the day. The wind was blowing pretty good so we closed three nets.
We ended up with 19 new birds and 11 retraps. The highlight of the morning was a Snowy Egret flying over Dead Creek!
Becky brought her cookies and muffins that she made the night before.
We caught a SY Male American Redstart.
The few visitors that came were Jeff and his daughter Maycee, Bradley and his mother, and Fionna and her mother Rachel.
June 8, 2015
Sunday June 7, 2015: The MAPS season got off to a good start at High Acres Nature Area (HANA) on Sunday, with the help of seven volunteers. MAPS stands for Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship. This is a program designed to evaluate changes in bird populations throughout North America. The data from the birds captured, along with data from hundreds of similar MAPS station are sent to the Institute for Bird Populations, where trends in populations are calculated. These trends are invaluable to bird conservation. The data is also sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is used for many other types of bird conservation research. It is also being used locally as a conservation planning tool at HANA.
A total of 33 new birds were banded. Age, sex, and a series of physical measurements were determined on each of these birds. There were also 9 recaptured birds on Sunday. Gray Catbirds were the most common species (8 new catbirds were banded). We also had 2 beautiful Wood Thrushes. One of the last birds of the day was a Veery, which continued to sing as it was removed from the net!
HANA in the morning. Photo by John Waud
Wood Thrush. Photo by John Waud
John Waud – Bander in charge
June 6, 2015
Saturday June 6, 2015: 12 new birds of 7 species, 13 recaps. Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 4 new bands.
The season let us know it over today, by giving us only a handful of new birds – almost all of which are locally breeding species. Despite the lack of birds, the crew had a pleasant morning – chatting, drinking coffee, and sitting outside in the sunshine.
Unofficially, we ended the season with 4,118 birds of 88 species, and 626 recaptures. Notable birds included a Pileated Woodpecker and a Prothonotary Warbler. A noticeable absence was Baltimore Oriole. While we recaptured several from previous seasons, we did not band any new orioles. While the season started off slowly, we had several amazing 200+ days, and we ended the season about 300 birds better than last year.
Thanks to everyone who made this season possible, from our regular crew of daily volunteers, to our slightly irregular crew of mowers, trimmers and menders, to our all important members and donors. BBBO needs you all, and we appreciate everything you do!
See you all in August!
June 5, 2015
Friday June 5, 2015: 52 new birds of 21 species; 7 recaps. Bird of the day was Traill’s Flycatcher with 13 new bands, followed by Swainson’s Thrush with 5 new bands. We had a nice, lazy morning with fine weather and a good crew. Alice and Marilyn did most of the net-picking, while Pat L. and BTC student Julia did most of the banding. Tom and Rick provided support in both places, while Judy scribed.
The birds were of the expected mix today, although a female Blackburnian Warbler, a female Red-winged Blackbird, two Field Sparrows, and two Great-crested Flycatchers were cause for excitement. It doesn’t happen very often that we band as many Great-crested Flycatchers as we do Gray Catbirds, but it happened today! We banded two of each. It’s worth noting the late-season species diversity today. Out of the 21 species banded, we banded only one or two birds of 15 species.