An Exciting Week of Banding September 12-22

September 25, 2013 Leave your thoughts

The weather finally cooperated for part of the last week, and we had a day of over 100 passerines banded and one day of 250 hawks banded. There were several rainy and foggy days, but we had enough good weather to make it a very successful week at the banding stations. We are running all day passerine banding demonstrations at the main overlook on the weekends, as well as banding station tours.  Please stop by and sign up!!!

Golden-winged Warbler – photo by Miranda Durbin

Passerine banding was slow most days, but Friday and Saturday mornings there was a significant movement of birds. Due to high winds, we were unable to band on Friday but all day birds were moving south on the strong Northwest winds. On Saturday, the winds died down enough so we could set up nets. We banded 100 passerines that day including 25 Nashville Warblers, two Black-throated Blue Warblers, and two Golden-winged Warblers just to name a few of the birds. For the week, we banded 144 total birds. This week we banded our first Hermit Thrushes, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Brown Creepers which are usually the late migrants and suggest the fall migration is starting to wind down.

Black-throated Blue Warbler – photo by Miranda Durbin

Owl banding was slow this week due to rain and wind. The busiest night was on the 21st when 18 Northern Saw-whet Owls were banded. For the week, the total number of owls was 36 all of which were adults. The saw-whet owl migration should continue to build in the next few weeks. The larger owls such as the Long-eared Owl should peak in mid-October but expect a few to arrive in the next week or two.

Raptor banding was slow most of the week, but all three stations were very busy on Friday the 20th when a total of 250 raptors were banded. The week’s total was 412 birds banded plus three recoveries. The week included 1 Bald Eagle, 4 Northern Harriers, 352 Sharp-shinned hawks, 10 Cooper’s Hawks, 1 Northern Goshawk, 4 Broad-winged Hawks, 6 Red-tailed Hawks, 22 American Kestrels and 12 Merlins. We had three recoveries this week of adult female Sharp-shinned Hawk. Two were from Thunder Cape, Ontario from 2010 and 2012. The third was a return from 2010 as a SY (hatched in 2009). The most exciting bird banded this week was an adult Bald Eagle banded on Tuesday at the main station. This is the first adult banded at the main station; we banded an adult in 2011 at the Paine Farm station. We band a lot of birds every year, but each eagle we catch is special and an adult Bald Eagle is exceptional. It was a joy for all of us just to see it. We released it at the overlook with a large crowd present. What a bird!

 Bald Eagle with bander David Alexander
photo by Kate Nicoletti

Posted by Frank Nicoletti


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