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.

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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