Bander Training Course continues . . . with another surprise bird!

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Monday, May 14, 2018. 74 new birds of 23 species, and 20 retraps. We had a very uncommon new species, Yellow-breasted Chat, as well as Red-eyed Vireo. Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 10 new bands. Ruby-crowned Kinglet was a close second with 9 new bands, and in third place was Magnolia Warbler with 8 new bands.

The Yellow-breasted Chat was an exciting capture; it is only the 24th YBCH to be banded by BBBO since 1986. YBCH requires dense, shrubby habitat, which was plentiful in the Eastern United States post logging. As forests grew, habitat was reduced and YBCHs declined by 1% per year between 1966 and 2014. They also rely heavily on riparian corridors.


On day two of our Bander Training Course it was nice to see our species diversity increase significantly, as well as the number of warblers. Students got to practice handling and observe up close birds of a variety of shapes, sizes, and behaviors. After more net picking practice, some students banded their first birds ever and others got to practice with new species. All saw great improvements in their handling and confidence, and we are looking forward to day 3!

–Kaitlin Clark

Bander Training Course Begins!

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Sunday May 13, 2018. 14 new birds of 9 species, 15 retraps.  No new species.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 5 new bands.

Today was the first day of our week-long Bander Training Course. The birds were slow and steady which made for some great training opportunities. Students saw migrants such as Western Palm Warbler and a late Ruby-crowned Kinglet, as well as residents such as our bird of the day, Gray Catbird, and House Wren, which delighted us with their song all morning.

Students began by observing our protocol in practice before bird handling. Andrea demonstrated and taught the two North American Banding Council safe holds before having students practice switching birds hand to hand, a crucial skill for banders and mistnet assistants. NABC Certified Trainers Andrea and Kaitlin had students net picking by mid- morning with much progress made by the end of the day.

Andrea was treated to a Mother’s Day surprise- a recaptured Baltimore Oriole that was banded by her and her daughter in 2012.


It was a great first day and we are looking forward to more great training days and surprise birds!

World Migratory Bird Day

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“… One space spreads through all creatures equally-
inner-world- space. Birds quietly flying go
flying through us. Oh, I that want to grow,
the tree I look outside at grows in me!” – Rilke

Saturday May 12, 2018. 15 new birds of 10 species, 11 retraps. No new species.  Bird of the day was Western Palm Warbler with 3 new bands.

Today on World Migratory Bird Day we celebrated the Year of the Bird by banding some beautiful migratory and resident species and sharing company with Buffalo Ornithological Society and other visitors to the station.  It started as a rainy day and our busiest net run was our last one. While we didn’t band many new birds we had great species diversity. Our bird of the day, Western Palm Warbler, is a migratory species that travels from its breeding grounds in north-central Canada to the southern United States, the Caribbean, and the southern tip of Mexico. It is incredible to think that they pass through New York on their journeys over thousands of miles- “Birds quietly flying go flying through us”.  When the birds touch our hands they also touch our hearts, and I always wish the birds safe passage as I let them go after banding them. Perhaps that little band will teach us even more about this species and others.

How did you celebrate World Migratory Bird Day?

— Kaitlin Clark

Iffy weather AGAIN!!!

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Thursday May 10, 2018.  76 new birds of 23 species; 4 retraps.  New Species: Red-bellied Woodpecker, and Tennessee Warbler.  Bird of the day was Gray Catbird with 12 new bands.


Another Thursday that we had to keep eye on the radar! We opened the nets at dawn, and we managed to get all 6 hours of banding in.  We ended with a good number of birds, and with 11 species of warblers.

— Ryan kayhart

A Great Treat 5/9/2018

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Wednesday May 9th we had 71 new bandings and we had 10 Recaps. We also banded Six new species for the season. The most exciting bird of the day was an Eastern bluebird. Although Eastern bluebird is a fairly common species in New York state, we almost never band them at Braddock Bay bird Observatory. Other new species included Hooded warbler, Mourning warbler, Lincoln Sparrow, Baltimore Oriole, and Wilson’s warbler.

Anton returns to Sweden

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Tuesday May 8, 2018:  89 birds of 24 species, 18 retraps.  New species:  Magnolia Warbler.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 21 new bands.

It was Anton Kvarnbäck’s was last day so we said good-bye before he headed back to Sweden.  We had a great visit, and we hope to we’ll see him again on the other side of the Atlantic one day!

We had 11 species of warblers today, and banded 4 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks besides!  Even though we had a good number of great birds, the day felt a little slow and lazy . . . and we’re eager to get a really big push of birds some time soon!

— Ryan Kayhart

Ruby for Ryan 5/4/18

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A Ruby-throated Hummingbird for Ryan. We had rain for the first 2 hours. Stepping

outside often to see if we could open, finally hour 2 all the nets opened. Turned out to be a bit of a slow day. On our last run to check and close we brought in the first Ruby-throated for our resident Hummingbird bander Ryan.

Thanks to all you stuck it out on a slow day.IMG_0065 Ruby-throated Hummingbird RK

New warblers every day!

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Thursday May 5, 2018.  31 new birds of 12 species; 3retraps.  New species: Ovenbird, Chestnut-sided Warbler, and Black-throated Warbler.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 8 new bands.

There was light rain at dawn so we waited out for a half hour. There were a lot of birds around, so we opened some nets thinking we were going to get a lot birds, but we didn’t. We did get a nice variety of birds.

– – Ryan Kayhart

What a day!

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Friday April 27, 2018:  240 birds of 17 species; 7 recaps.  New species:  House Wren, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird.  Bird of the day was Ruby-crowned Kinglet with 164 new bands, followed by Golden-crowned Kinglet with 37.

Finally for the Friday crew a day where there were more birds then people!  Thanks to all the volunteers who came out in the dark and cold but ended up with great rewards.

On again off again . . . rain rain rain

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Thursday April 26, 2018:  21 new birds of 7 species, 4 retraps.  New Species: Common Grackle.

We opened about 30 minutes late due to misty rain at dawn.  It was a day that we had to keep a look at radar, and we soon had to close our nets. We had a group from SUNY Geneseo come while we were closed . . . Andrea gave a talk while we waited to open the nets again.  They got see couple of birds before they headed back.     – – Ryan Kayhart

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