Thursday, November 18, 2021

Fall Bird Banding: November 2021, season finale

I have posted results from the final two days of banding in the first week of November at Lake St. Clair Metropark, Macomb County, Michigan, as well as a summary of the entire fall season of banding, at the Bird Banding Blog (use the link above).

Sunday, October 31, 2021

Fall Bird Banding Update - October 2021

Results and highlights from a challenging but interesting month of October bird banding have been posted to the Bird Banding Blog page. Use the link above to access this page.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fall Bird Banding Update - September 2021

Results and highlights from a very productive month of September bird banding have been posted to the Bird Banding Blog page. Use the link above to access this page.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

Fall Bird Banding Update - August 2021

Results and highlights from the first month of fall bird banding at Lake St. Clair Metropark, Macomb County, Michigan has been posted to the Bird Banding Blog, which can be accessed using the link above.

Monday, August 9, 2021

Fall Songbird Banding Under Way

Fall songbird banding at Lake St. Clair Metropark, Macomb County, began on August 1 and is already a good season for so early in the migration. At the end of August, the first summary of results and photo highlights will be posted to the Banding Blog which can be accessed through the link above.

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

A Great Hummingbird Banding Day

Yesterday, July 6, my two subpermittees got a team of 7 together to band Ruby-throated Hummingbirds at our biggest remaining site in Michigan's lower peninsula, near Constantine in St. Joseph County. We had 2 dedicated trappers, 2 recorders (one for males and one for females), and 2 dedicated banders (me and one of my "subs". One of my subpermittees was a "floater" who mostly trapped, but also banded when we needed to catch up.

We did not band at this location in 2020 because we could not get a team together due to COVID restrictions, and alternative plans for fewer of us (3) to try to set up in a manner that would not overwhelm us did not pan out in our schedules. It has been more difficult to band here than other sites partly because it is 3 hours from where I live and an hour from where my subs live. We banded there in 2019, but not in 2018 or 2017 due to scheduling difficulties, and in one case due to the homeowners having a badly timed power outage. We try to band there twice each summer, but haven't been able to get there before early July and by mid-August all their birds seem to depart, so we have banded very few hatch-years at this site, a situation that is puzzling to us. We only banded there on one day in 2019.

Yesterday, we set up 6 traps, including 2 G-traps and 4 collapsible mesh net traps (D-traps) as the homeowners took down their 40+ feeders that are mostly on the house and in the driveway of their ~1.5 acre property that sits in the middle of the Three Rivers State Game Area. The closest residence to them is 1/2 mile north-northeast on the outer edge of the Game Area, and another of our banding sites is 1.4 miles south-southeast that is within a 45 acre semi-isolated woodlot also on the edge of the Game Area.

The traps were open only 45 minutes before we had to close them down, and put a few feeders back up to keep the birds in the area, as we had already captured at least 100 birds! We kept the traps closed for about an hour until we were almost completely caught up. The traps were opened for another half-hour, then closed again, and this time we decided to call it quits for the morning as it was starting to get pretty hot (in the low 80s by 10:30). Six traps open for 1.25 hours totaled 7.5 Trap Hours.

In the end, we banded 184 new Ruby-throats (111 females, 73 males) and had 15 returns (9 from 2019, 5 from 2016, and 1 from 2020 that was banded at the other site SSE of here), which was a one-day record for the site, but just barely. Today's capture rate was 159.2 per hour, or 26.5 per Trap Hour. In 2019, with only one day of effort, we banded 156 (114 adult females, 41 adult males, 1 hatch-year female) plus 17 returns (1 from 2013, 3 from 2014, 7 from 2015, and 6 from 2016). Our best year overall so far was 2016 when we banded 272 (159 adult females, 101 adult males, 10 hatch-year males, and 2 hatch-year females), plus 93 returns (15 from 2013, 15 from 2014, and 63 from 2015) by banding there on two days. We are hoping and planning to band here once more in 3 or 4 weeks.

It was nice to see, and band lots of hummingbirds again! And to see our great team that made it all happen.

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Spring 2021 Bird Banding Report Posted

A 36-page summary of the spring 2021 songbird banding season at Lake St. Clair Metropark has been posted as a PDF file, and can be viewed by clicking on the Bird Banding Reports link above.