Passerine banding this Fall has been conducted by a dedicated group of volunteers. We are building on the training started last year and have several returning volunteers The season has been slower than
|Courtesy of Ken Zakovich|
fall 2012 with 672 birds banded through September 8th. The variety has been similar, but overall numbers are down. Hopefully things will improve later this month. Highlights so far are 21 species of warblers banded, including a stunning male black-throated blue warbler on 9/7. We also banded several black-throated green warblers including this beautiful male on 9/7. We look forward to a great next week or two with many days of >50 birds banded. More updates to follow.
— David Alexander
|Merlin – Courtesy of Chris Neri|
The raptor banding project began on August 15th at the main station, and increased to three stations on September 2 with Paine Farm and Moose Valley starting up. Chris Neri and Nova Mackentley return for their third year as raptor banders.
August was an average month with 85 birds banded. August 30th was a great day with a hatch year Bald Eagle and a hatch year Peregrine Falcon banded at the main station. The numbers for Red-tailed Hawk and American Kestrel were lower than expected in August. We banded 130 birds so far in September including 4 Northern Harriers, 110 Sharp-shinned Hawks, 7 Red-tailed Hawks, one Broad-winged Hawk, and 8 Merlins. The September numbers show some improvement, but are still lower than average.
|Male Northern Harrier – Courtesy of Chris Neri|
One reason for the lower than average numbers this fall is the weather: days of extremely hot weather, followed by cold, moist days of east winds discouraged migration. Winds are predicted to shift to a more favorable West/Northwest direction later this week. That should bring the first real push of Sharp-shinned Hawks and Broad-winged Hawks for the season. Hopefully some will be banded and available for public education programs at the overlook.
— Frank Nicoletti, Banding Director