Thursday, May 3, 2018

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - April 20-29, 2018

Temperatures in the last half of April were better than the first half, but still didn't reach what is considered average for this time of year. Early migrants dominated through the end of the month, with unprecedented numbers of Golden-crowned Kinglets much later than normal, with very few warblers. Yellow Warblers usually arrive before the end of April, but not this spring.

Highlights of the 74 birds banded on April 20 included the first Northern Flickers (2) of the spring.
After second-year male Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker















After second-year male Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker
















The first (4) Yellow-rumped Warblers of the spring were captured today as well. Back at the marsh station, this species was not captured in late April very often even though they are usually fairly common then.
After hatch-year male Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler















After hatch-year male Yellow-rumped (Myrtle) Warbler
















This bright White-throated Sparrow was the only one captured today, but was the first of the spring season.
After hatch-year White-throated Sparrow
















The most interesting bird observed, but not banded, was a Pileated Woodpecker that flew over the banding station and landed briefly behind the nature center. A few years ago there were sightings of this species, the first ever in the park, but in recent years has remained very elusive. We also had flyover Common Loon, Purple Martins, and Pine Siskins, as well as nearby drumming Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.

Highlights of the 80 birds banded on April 21 included 3 more Northern Flickers, and an excellent total of 13 Golden-crowned Kinglets.
Second-year male Golden-crowned Kinglet
















Other early-season species captured today, some in good numbers, included Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, Brown Creeper, American Tree Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco. Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included an American Bittern calling from the marsh far to the north, drumming Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers, an Eastern Towhee, and a flyover Pine Siskin.

Highlights of the 108 birds banded on April 27 included the first (4) House Wrens of the spring, which were pretty much on schedule despite the tardiness of many early spring species.
After hatch-year House Wren
















It was another good day for kinglets, with 10 Golden-crowned and 17 Ruby-crowned; the latter was nearly double the previous spring record (9 on 27 April 2007). And the 20 Hermit Thrushes beat the previous spring record of 12 set on 17 April 2013. Four more Yellow-rumped Warblers were nice, and a single Northern Waterthrush was unexpected, and a bit early.
After hatch-year male Northern Waterthrush
















If you look carefully at the photo above (click on it to enlarge), you can see narrow white tips on the outer tail feathers, which suggests this is a male.
After hatch-year male Northern Waterthrush
















The lightly spotted throat, narrower supercilium behind the eye, and smaller bill, distinguish the Northern Waterthrush from Louisiana Waterthrush, which migrates earlier but has only been banded in the park once. This nice male Eastern Towhee was the second of the spring.
Second-year male Eastern Towhee















Second-year male Eastern Towhee
















A single American Tree Sparrow tied the record late date for banding this species in the park, although they have been seen as late as April 29 here.
After hatch-year American Tree Sparrow
















The Dark-eyed Junco banded today was record late, but not too unexpected as they linger into early May in many years. Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included a Forster's Tern diving for fish in a small pond only about 20 yards behind the banding table, a singing Savannah Sparrow adjacent to the meadow, and a singing Purple Finch near the feeders that we were hoping would be captured, but it was not.

Highlights of the 47 birds banded on April. 29 included the 7th Northern Flicker of the spring, exceeding the previous spring record of 4, but still short of the fall record of 10. Golden-crowned Kinglets (3) today continued to be notable, as most have departed by April 20 most years.
Second-year female Golden-crowned Kinglet
















All the Golden-crowned Kinglets in the past two days (10 on the 27th and 3 today) were females, indicating the end of their migration. Surprisingly, no Yellow-rumped Warblers were seen or heard in the banding area today, but one warbler was captured, an Orange-crowned.
After hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler
















The orange in the crown is nearly impossible to see in the field, and even in-hand can be overlooked unless the crown feathers are moved aside...they are barely visible in the photo below.
After hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler
















 Among the small number of sparrows banded today was the 3rd Field Sparrow of the season.

Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included flyover Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Caspian Tern, Belted Kingfisher, Purple Martin, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, and Barn Swallow. There was also a single American Tree Sparrow at the Nature Center feeders (thanks Blanche!).

Banding on these 4 days would not have been possible without the help of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Edie Schmitz, Michelle Serreyn, and Blanche Wicke.

Detailed Bird Banding Results

April 20, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:45
Hours Open: 6.75
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:43
Net Hours: 107.75
Temperature (F):  34-52
Cloud Cover: 20-0%
Wind Direction: NW-NE
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-10
Barometer: 30.42 - 30.50
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 74 (plus 17 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 23
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 86.3
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): John Bieganowski (8.25 hrs), Mike Charlebois (7.5 hrs), Blanche Wicke.

Northern Flicker - 2
Eastern Phoebe - 1
Tree Swallow - 1
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 1
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Hermit Thrush - 8
American Robin - 1 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4
Eastern Towhee - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 2 (plus 2 recaptured)
Field Sparrow - 1
Fox Sparrow - 5 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Song Sparrow - 18 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 6
White-throated Sparrow - 1
Dark-eyed Junco - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Red-winged Blackbird - 5 (plus 2 recaptured)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1
American Goldfinch - 7 (plus 8 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 1
-----------------------------------------------

April 21, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 7.25
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  5:41
Net Hours: 113.25
Temperature (F): 32-50
Cloud Cover: 30-100%
Wind Direction: Calm-ENE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-7
Barometer: 30.50 - 30.45
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 80 (plus 29 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 20
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 97.1
Banding Assistants (10.0 hours worked): Jenifer Benke, Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins.

Northern Flicker - 3
Tree Swallow - 1
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
[White-breasted Nuthatch - 1 recaptured]
Winter Wren - 2
Brown Creeper - 6
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 13
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Hermit Thrush - 9
American Robin - 2 (plus 2 recaptured)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 7
Fox Sparrow - 2
Song Sparrow - 11 (plus 4 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Dark-eyed Junco - 8 (plus 1 recaptured)
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Red-winged Blackbird - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
[House Finch - 1 recaptured]
American Goldfinch - 8 (plus 15 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
-----------------------------------------------

April 27, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:45 
Hours Open: 7.0
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:33
Net Hours: 116.00
Temperature (F): 43-63
Cloud Cover: 30-100%
Wind Direction: Calm-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5-7
Barometer: 29.79 - 29.70
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 108 (plus 18 recaptured, 3 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 21
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 111.2
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Edie Schmitz, Blanche Wicke.

Northern Flicker - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 7 recaptured)
Brown Creeper - 3
House Wren - 4
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 17
Hermit Thrush - 20
[American Robin - 1 recaptured]
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Eastern Towhee - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 6 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 3
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
Red-winged Blackbird - 26 (plus 5 recaptured, 3 released unbanded)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

April 29, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:45
Hours Open: 7.0
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  5:30
Net Hours: 116.00
Temperature (F): 34-54
Cloud Cover: 10-0%
Wind Direction: N
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-12
Barometer: 30.26 - 30.31
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 47 (plus 20 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 18
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 59.5
Banding Assistants (9.25 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Michelle Serreyn, Blanche Wicke.

Northern Flicker - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3 (plus 2 recaptured)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 8 (plus 1 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
[American Robin - 1 recaptured]
European Starling - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Field Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 2 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Swamp Sparrow - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
Red-winged Blackbird - 7 (plus 5 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
House Finch - 5
American Goldfinch - 7 (plus 3 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - April 7-13, 2018

The typical schedule for starting spring bird banding is to start the first Sunday in April. This year, that was early, on April 1, which we've done before. But it was also Easter that day, and well, WINTER was still exerting itself. So, I decided to delay the first banding day until April 7. Even so, we had two days (7th and 8th) of temperatures on the 30s, and on the first day there was a dusting of snow on the ground, and all the puddles were covered with ice. Because of the cold, and lots of water, a normal setup of 17.5 nets for 6 hours was not accomplished for the first half of the month. We started an hour later than usual to allow temperatures to warm up enough to be safer for the birds, and perhaps a tiny bit more comfortable (?) for the volunteers.
Dusting of snow in the Dogwood Nets area













Small frozen puddle near the Meadow Nets














Highlights of the 38 birds of 9 species banded on Saturday, April 7, included some of the species that starting this early intends to target, namely wintering species that will soon depart, including American Tree Sparrows.
After hatch-year American Tree Sparrow
















The 6 Golden-crowned Kinglets banded today were expected, as small numbers of this early migrant are still passing through southern Michigan in early April. But quite unexpected was the two Pine Siskins that were captured adjacent to the thistle feeders annually placed near the Meadow Nets.
After hatch-year male Pine Siskin
















These are the first Pine Siskins banded at this new site, and at the marsh station they were only banded in 2012, when 24 were banded there. Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included a pair of Sandhill Cranes calling from the North Marsh, audible all the way over to our banding station nearly 1/2 mile away!

Highlights of the 24 birds of 10 species banded on Sunday, April 8, included another American Tree Sparrow and 2 more Golden-crowned Kinglets. Two singing White-throated Sparrows, not banded, were either overwintering individuals or early migrants.

Highlights of the 108 birds of 18 species banded on Friday, April 13, included a somewhat surprising 4 Eastern Phoebes, given the still chilly temperatures.
Second-year Eastern Phoebe
















Difficult to see in the photos, the "molt limit" in the greater secondary coverts allowed this individual to be aged as second-year because the outermost 2 or 3 were very worn with remnants of buffy tips, while most of the inners were unworn with whitish tips.
Second-year Eastern Phoebe

















A big surprise was the 40 Golden-crowned Kinglets banded today, which was about the 3rd highest banded in a single day in the park, but was by far the most in spring. The previous one-day spring record was 12. A somewhat early Ruby-crowned Kinglet was a bit unexpected. The first Hermit Thrushes of the spring were banded today, as well as a few more American Tree Sparrows and 2 Dark-eyed Juncos to keep up the winter bird theme.
Second-year female Dark-eyed Junco
















Another early migrant is the Fox Sparrow, which can be hit or miss, as we banded only one in spring 2017, and 6 in 2016. Today, we had a single-day record of 8 banded.
After hatch-year Fox Sparrow
















Good numbers of Song Sparrows were banded today, as well as a couple of Swamp Sparrows, signaling an influx of migrant sparrows. A Field Sparrow banded today was a bit of a surprise as it was somewhat early, and we typically only band a couple in any given year.
After hatch-year Field Sparrow
















Another Pine Siskin banded today rounded out the winter highlights. Interesting birds observed, but not banded included 2 migrating Common Loons flying over, a calling American Woodcock (we finally started at our normal time, before dawn), a calling Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a bunch of Tree Swallows, a single Northern Rough-winged Swallow, 2 singing Winter Wrens, singing Yellow-rumped Warbler, Palm Warbler, and Eastenr Towhee, and a single Rusty Blackbird.

Banding on these three chilly days could not have been done without the help of the following volunteers: Mike Charlebois, Jacob Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Tamika Jaja, Erin Rowan, and Blanche Wicke.

Detailed Bird Banding Results

April 7, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 7:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 4.75
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:04
Net Hours: 58.75
Temperature (F):  25-35
Cloud Cover: 10-50%
Wind Direction: W-NE
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 30.09 - 30.07
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 38 (plus 12 recaptured, 4 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 9
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 91.9
Banding Assistants (7.0 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Erin Rowan.

Black-capped Chickadee - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6
American Robin - 3 (plus 1 released unbanded)
European Starling - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 1
[Song Sparrow - 2 recaptured]
Red-winged Blackbird - 2 (plus 2 released unbanded)
Pine Siskin - 2
American Goldfinch - 22 (plus 10 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
-----------------------------------------------

April 8, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 7:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:00
Hours Open: 5.00
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:02
Net Hours: 81.00
Temperature (F): 24-37
Cloud Cover: 20-60%
Wind Direction: WNW-WSW
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 30.10 - 30.12
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 16 (plus 8 recaptured)
Species Captured: 10
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours):  29.6
Banding Assistants (7.5 hours worked): Jacob Charlebois (3.5 hrs), Mike Charlebois (4.0 hrs), Tamika Jaja, Blanche Wicke.

[Black-capped Chickadee - 2 recaptured]
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 2
American Robin - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Tree Sparrow - 1
[Song Sparrow - 1 recaptured]
Northern Cardinal - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Common Grackle - 2
American Goldfinch - 3 (plus 3 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 1
-----------------------------------------------

April 13, 2018

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:15
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:45 
Hours Open: 6.5
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:54
Net Hours: 93.75
Temperature (F): 37-57
Cloud Cover: 100-70-100%
Wind Direction: NE
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 29.87 - 29.84
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 108 (plus 18 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 18
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 135.5
Banding Assistants (9.75 hours worked): Mike Charlebois (8.25 hrs), Guadalupe Cummins (9.25 hrs).

Eastern Phoebe - 4
[Black-capped Chickadee - 2 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 4
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 40 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Hermit Thrush - 2
American Robin - 5
American Tree Sparrow - 5 (plus 1 recaptured)
Field Sparrow - 1
Fox Sparrow - 8
Song Sparrow - 19 (plus 2 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 2
Dark-eyed Junco - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Red-winged Blackbird - 1
[House Finch - 1 recaptured]
Pine Siskin - 1
American Goldfinch - 12 (plus 10 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

Monday, February 19, 2018

Celebrating 50 years of birding

On April 27, 2018, I will be 61 years old. Yikes! On my 11th birthday, I got a pair of binoculars and a bird field guide. So generally I consider that this is when I became a 'birder" since I also became serious about keeping a "life list", which reached 300 species just after my 19th birthday, a Yellow-headed Blackbird in my uncle's back yard in Green Bay, Wisconsin. As my 50th year of birding begins, there are two ways that I plan to celebrate. The first is the publication of A Field Guide to Birds of Michigan by the American Birding Association. While I have made significant writing contributions to six books before this, enough to have my name on the covers, this is the first book that I have completely authored myself, and it is greatly enhanced by photos mainly by Brian Small and a few other photographers, including Michigan's own Darlene Friedman. I have received advance copies, but the publication date is expected to be April 25. It is available from ABA Sales/Buteo Books. I have scanned a few pages, shown below, and more details are available here. Click on the images below to enlarge them enough to read the text.

Front Cover























Back Cover






















Inside front and back covers












Sample text from Introduction


















Sample species account


















I think this book is an excellent resource for beginning and intermediate birders.

My next "celebration" will be a birding/photography trip to northern Peru in mid-July to see the Marvelous Spatuletail hummingbird, among many others. I am hoping to update my blog during that trip as often as time, and connections, will permit. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Lake St. Clair Metropark banding report - October 27 - November 4, 2017

The end of the banding season provided fairly warm conditions on the last 5 days. Three more days were covered in October, on the 27th, 28th, and 29th, and two days in November, the 3rd and 4th. Usually the end of the season is somewhat slow and uneventful, but some very late migrants and some rarities made things interesting.

Highlights of the 96 birds of 17 species banded on October 27 included not just one, but TWO White-eyed Vireos.
Hatch-year White-eyed Vireo

















Only 16 White-eyed Vireos have been banded in the park between 1994 and 2009, and none of them in the fall. Typically, this rare breeding species in the southernmost portions of Michigan has departed by late September, so their presence here this late is very unusual. A strong weather system flowing up from Texas may have brought them, and some other late birds today, to us.
Hatch-year White-eyed Vireo
















Hatch-year White-eyed Vireos have gray eyes, and there seemed to be a slight difference in color between the two.
Hatch-year White-eyed Vireo
















The Nashville Warbler today was a couple days short of being the latest ever banded here, but was the first since October 20.
Hatch-year female Nashville Warbler
















But the Magnolia Warbler was a record late date by a week.
Hatch-year Magnolia Warbler
















Much more expected was the good number of both species of kinglet, and Hermit Thrushes, as well as the first American Tree Sparrow of the season.
After hatch-year American Tree Sparrow















After hatch-year American Tree Sparrow

















A highlight among the recaptures was a female Northern Cardinal that was originally banded as an adult at the marsh station 0.4 miles away in 2009, making her at least 9 years 4 months old.

Results from October 28 were not particularly impressive, with only 28 birds of 9 species banded. On October 29, numbers were a little better, with 38 individuals of 13 species banded. The number of kinglets and Hermit Thrushes were down. It was a fairly good day for sparrows, considering the lateness of the season, with a surprising 5 White-throated Sparrows.
Hatch-year White-throated Sparrow
















Numbers of White-throats this fall (and last fall) have been far short of what had been expected at the marsh station where the 10-year fall season average was 217. So far this fall, less than 40 have been banded. It is possible there has been a downturn in numbers, as there were low numbers at the marsh station in 2014 too, with "only" 95 that fall. Interesting birds observed, but not banded on October 28 included two flyover GreaterYellowlegs,

With only two volunteers, fewer nets were open on November 3, but there were good results with 51 individuals of 18 species banded. Highlights included the 80th species of the fall (the record is 81 species in 2013), a common bird that usually bounces out of our nets, two Mourning Doves.
After hatch-year male Mourning Dove















After hatch-year male Mourning Dove

















And the 81st species of the fall was another common resident species, but not often captured as there are few large trees in the banding area, a White-breasted Nuthatch.
After hatch-year male White-breasted Nuthatch
















A truly shocking capture was a record late Yellow-bellied Flycatcher! In 2015, one banded on October 7 was the first ever banded here in October, so one in November is extraordinary.
Hatch-year Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

















A single Yellow-rumped Warbler was record late, by 3 days. And back to the more mundane, today saw the 500th American Goldfinch of the season banded. Only two previous fall seasons had more than 500 goldfinches, 2010 (512) and 2013 (749).
After hatch-year male American Goldfinch
















Interesting birds observed but not banded on November 3 included a flyover American Pipit, a flock of 8 Red Crossbills that circled over a nearby pine tree before continuing south (only 2nd or 3rd park record), and a flyover Common Redpoll. A Fox Sparrow was observed for only the second time this fall. They seem to have eluded capture this fall, for the first time EVER.

The last day of banding, November 4, was very good for so late as far as number of individuals banded (65) and species captured (14). This included a new species for the fall, and American Woodcock, setting a new record of 82 species this fall, and was only the 10th woodcock banded in the park (5 of them in 2015 at this new meadow station).
Hatch-year female American Woodcock















Hatch-year female American Woodcock

















Just for fun, here is a close crop of a photo of the woodcock's back pattern.
Hatch-year female American Woodcock
















Two Winter Wrens today were two days shy of a record late date.
Hatch-year Winter Wren

















It was a good day for Golden-crowned Kinglets (16), American Tree Sparrows (7), White-throated Sparrows (4), and a record day for Dark-eyed Juncos, with 17. This single day exceeds any previous entire fall season at the marsh station!
Hatch-year female Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco

















Banding on these 5 days could not have been done without the help of the following volunteers: John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Stevie Kuroda, Dave Lancaster, Mitchael Neilson, Hannah Pelkey, Alexander Reiber, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke.

Detailed Bird Banding Results

October 27, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 7.0 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:59
Net Hours: 113.5
Temperature (F):  50-59
Cloud Cover: 40-100-90%
Wind Direction: SE-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 7-10-12
Barometer: 29.77 - 29.79
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 96 (plus 19 recaptured, 3 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 17
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 104.0
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Guadalupe Cummins, Dave Lancaster, Blanche Wicke.

Downy Woodpecker - 1
Eastern Phoebe -1
White-eyed Vireo - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Brown Creeper - 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 20
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 18 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Hermit Thrush - 18 (plus 1 recaptured)
Nashville Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 3
Dark-eyed Junco - 3 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Northern Cardinal - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 19 (plus 13 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 1 (plus 1 released unbanded)
-----------------------------------------------

October 28, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.75 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  7:00
Net Hours: 111.25
Temperature (F): 39-46
Cloud Cover: 100-60-100%
Wind Direction: SW-NW-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 5-7-10
Barometer: 29.85 - 29.85
Precipitation:None
No. Banded: 28 (plus 16 recaptured)
Species Captured: 9
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours):  39.6
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey (7.5 hrs), Bruce Watson .

[Black-capped Chickadee - 2 recaptured]
Winter Wren - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 4 (plus 3 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Tree Sparrow - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Song Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 2
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
American Goldfinch - 12 (plus 9 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

October 29, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15 
Hours Open: 6.75 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 7:02
Net Hours: 111.25
Temperature (F): 41-50
Cloud Cover: 100-95%
Wind Direction: WSW-NW
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 29.88 - 29.84
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 38 (plus 30 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 13
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 62.0
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey (7.0 hrs, Bruce Watson.

Downy Woodpecker - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 3 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6 (plus 4 recaptured)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2 (plus 5 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
American Tree Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 3
White-throated Sparrow - 5
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
House Finch - 1
American Goldfinch - 13 (plus 15 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

November 3, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.75 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  7:08
Net Hours: 73.75
Temperature (F): 46-52
Cloud Cover: 80-50%
Wind Direction: NW-N
Wind Speed (mph): 5-7-12
Barometer: 30.13 - 30.33
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 51 (plus 18 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 18
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 94.9
Banding Assistants (9.5 hours worked): Guadalupe Cummins, Dave Lancaster.

Mourning Dove - 2
Downy Woodpecker - 5 (plus 1 recaptured)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
White-breasted Nuthatch - 1
Brown Creeper - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 4 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Song Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 4
Dark-eyed Junco - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
House Finch - 2
American Goldfinch - 17 (plus 12 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

November 4, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:30
Hours Open: 6.75 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 7:09
Net Hours: 111.25
Temperature (F): 41-55
Cloud Cover: 100-60%
Wind Direction: NE-ENE
Wind Speed (mph): 7-10-12
Barometer: 30.32 - 30.17
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 65 (plus 11 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 14
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 69.2
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Stevie Kuroda, Mitchael Neilson (7.0 hrs), Alexander Reiber (7.5 hrs), Bruce Watson. 

American Woodcock - 1
Mourning Dove - 1
[Downy Woodpecker - 3 recaptured]
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 16
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 7 (plus 1 recaptured)
Song Sparrow - 3
White-throated Sparrow - 4
Dark-eyed Junco - 16
[Northern Cardinal - 2 recaptured]
House Finch - 1
American Goldfinch - 12 (plus 5 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
House Sparrow - 1
-----------------------------------------------

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Lake St. Clair Metropark banding report - October 6-22, 2017

The intent at this station is to try to band two days each week, or two days out of every seven. The month of October got off to a good start, with banding three days in a row on the 6th, 7th, and 8th, but then due to both a lack of volunteers, then two days getting rained out, there was an 11 day gap with no banding until another three days in a row on the 20th, 21st, and 22nd. We will always wonder what we might have missed in those 11 days...surely a few White-throated Sparrows and Hermit Thrushes since they peak in mid-October, and possibly some of the last warblers of the season.

Highlights of the 113 birds of 23 species banded on Friday, October 6 included several first for the season, which was not surprising since the last day of banding was 7 days ago. Among these firsts was a Brown Creeper and several Golden-crowned Kinglets.
Hatch-year Brown Creeper















Hatch-year Brown Creeper

















Hatch-year female Golden-crowned Kinglet
















Among the 23 warblers of 8 species banded today was a one-day record of 7 Orange-crowned Warblers.
After hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler

















Two of the warblers were somewhat late, a Chestnut-sided and a Wilson's.
Hatch-year Chestnut-sided Warbler















Hatch-year female Wilson's Warbler

















Sparrows had a fair showing, but far from what was expected as this is typically the peak for several species in this park. The 8 White-crowned Sparrows today was a fairly good number.
After hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow

















The Eastern subspecies is discerned by the small black line connecting the front of the eye to the base of the black lateral crown stipe. Because we had a few to look at, we noticed some variation in the width of that small stripe, and wondered if it was related to the sex of the bird. As far as I know, nobody has studied this.
After hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow















After hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow


















On Saturday, October 7, only 46 birds of 18 species was banded. The main highlight was a somewhat late Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.
Hatch-year Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

















Among the few warblers captured today was the season's first Palm Warbler.
Hatch-year Palm Warbler
















Even fewer birds were banded on Sunday, October 8, with only 35 individuals of 21 species. But if not a good day for quantity, it was good for quality as the highlight of the day was this Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk
















Hatch-year Sharp-shinned Hawk

















Hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk

















Additional interesting birds banded today included a late-ish Swainson's Thrush, and somewhat late warblers including a Magnolia, two Blackpolls, and an American Redstart.

After an 11-day gap, results on Friday, October 20 were good, with 94 birds of 21 species banded. Highlights included two new species for this fall, one of them a result of audio-luring for Northern Saw-whet Owls before dawn...an Eastern Screech-Owl.This was the 4th screech-owl banded in the park, but the first rufous morph.
After hatch-year Eastern Screech-Owl

















After hatch-year Eastern Screech-Owl

















Not too unexpected was the first Field Sparrow of the fall.
Hatch-year Field Sparrow
















Hatch-year Field Sparrow

















A Common Yellowthroat was late, but not record late.
Hatch-year Common Yellowthorat

















The next day, Saturday, October 21, 70 birds of 19 species were banded with no new species for the fall. Perhaps the most unusual was the 2nd Field Sparrow of the season, and a Gray Catbird that tied the record late date for banding this species here.
Hatch-year Gray Catbird
















A couple of Orange-crowned Warblers, including one adult male, gave me a chance to take photos of some plumage characters that are difficult to photograph, like the "blurry" breast streaks, and of course the hidden orange crown.
After hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler















After hatch-year male Orange-crowned Warbler


















A non-bird highlight of the day was an Eastern Milk Snake discovered by Terri, right in the road between the banding station and the Nature Center. This may have only been the 2nd or 3rd time this species has been seen in this park.
Eastern Milk Snake (Lampropeltis triangulum)
















Lower numbers were banded on Sunday, October 22, with only 30 individuals of 13 species. On these days, we can take a closer look at the birds we capture. Today's only Blue Jay was unusual in that it was an adult...vastly more hatch-years of this intelligent species are captured at most banding stations.
After hatch-year Blue Jay
















One character for determining age is that older birds have brighter blue on their primary coverts and alula, and also develop barring on those feathers. It was interesting that at a recent meeting of the Inland Bird Bander's Association, one presenter talked about a variety of issues in this species, including that it appears that some Blue Jays, maybe females, never get this barring. The photo below shows this barring, and if you look carefully perhaps you can see them in the photo above as well.
After hatch-year Blue Jay
















A House Wren today was a surprise, and it was a record late date (by two days) for banding in this park.
Hatch-year House Wren















Hatch-year House Wren

















Banding on these six days could not have been conducted without the capable help of the following volunteers: John Bieganowski, Terri Chapdelaine, Mike Charlebois, Guadeloupe Cummins, Stevie Kuroda, Jac Kyle, Dave Lancaster, Mitchael Neilson, Hannah Pelkey, Matthew Porter, Bruce Watson, and Blanche Wicke.

Detailed Bird Banding Results

October 6, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:15
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 5.25
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:35
Net Hours: 78.875
Temperature (F):  57-63
Cloud Cover: 100-95-100%
Wind Direction: Calm-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-3-5
Barometer: 30.13 - 30.07
Precipitation:  Intermittent light rain (delayed open, and forced 1-hour close in a.m.)
No. Banded: 113 (plus 15 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 23
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 163.5
Banding Assistants (10.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois, Jac Kyle, Blanche Wicke.

Blue-headed Vireo - 1
Blue Jay - 2
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 1
Winter Wren - 4
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 16 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Swainson's Thrush - 1
Hermit Thrush - 5
Orange-crowned Warbler - 7
Nashville Warbler - 7
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 1
Wilson's Warbler - 1
Song Sparrow - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
White-throated Sparrow - 6
White-crowned Sparrow - 8
Northern Cardinal - 3
House Finch - 3
American Goldfinch - 31 (plus 13 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

October 7, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.5
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:36
Net Hours: 110.5
Temperature (F): 64-79
Cloud Cover: 100-20%
Wind Direction: SSE
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-12
Barometer: 29.71 - 29.81
Precipitation: Intermittent light rain in a.m.
No. Banded: 46 (plus 24 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 18
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours):  65.2
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Mike Charlebois (5.0 hrs), Dave Lancaster, Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson.

Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 1
Blue-headed Vireo - 1
Blue Jay - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 5
Hermit Thrush - 1
Gray Catbird - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Palm Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 1
Song Sparrow - 2 (plus 2 recaptured)
White-throated Sparrow - 5 (plus 1 recaptured)
[White-crowned Sparrow - 2 recaptured]
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 19 (plus 16 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
-----------------------------------------------

October 8, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15 
Hours Open: 6.5
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:37
Net Hours: 110.5
Temperature (F): 64-73
Cloud Cover: 100-10%
Wind Direction: SW-S
Wind Speed (mph): 7-12-5
Barometer: 29.78 - 29.93
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 35 (plus 11 recaptured)
Species Captured: 21
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 41.6
Banding Assistants (8.0 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey (7.0 hrs), Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke. 

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Eastern Phoebe - 1
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
[Winter Wren - 1 recaptured]
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 4
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 10 (plus 1 recaptured)
Swainson's Thrush - 1
Hermit Thrush - 2
Gray Catbird - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Blackpoll Warbler - 2
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1
American Redstart - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
[Wilson's Warbler - 1 recaptured)
[Song Sparrow - 2 recaptured]
White-throated Sparrow - 2
White-crowned Sparrow - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 4 (plus 4 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

October 20, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.5 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:45 - 6:15)
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:51
Net Hours: 110.5
Temperature (F): 45-68
Cloud Cover: 0-10%
Wind Direction: Calm-NW-SSE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-3-7
Barometer: 30.26 - 30.26
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 94 (plus 16 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 21
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 101.4
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Guadeloupe Cummins, Mike Charlebois, Dave Lancaster, Blanche Wicke.

Eastern Screech-Owl - 1
Eastern Phoebe - 1
[Black-capped Chickadee - 3 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 1
[Carolina Wren - 2 recaptured]
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 13
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 18
Hermit Thrush - 5
Nashville Warbler - 1
[Magnolia Warbler - 1 recaptured]
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Field Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 4 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Swamp Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 7
Dark-eyed Junco - 5
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
House Finch - 2
American Goldfinch - 29 (plus 9 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

October 21, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:15
Hours Open: 6.75 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 6:52
Net Hours: 111.0
Temperature (F): 55-70
Cloud Cover: 15-60%
Wind Direction: S
Wind Speed (mph): 5-7-10
Barometer: 30.24 - 30.24
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 70 (plus 20 recaptured)
Species Captured: 19
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 81.1
Banding Assistants (8.0 hours worked): Terri Chapdelaine, Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey, Mitchael Neilson, Bruce Watson (7.0 hrs). 

[Downy Woodpecker - 2 recaptured]
[Hairy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
Black-capped Chicakdee - 2 (plus 4 recaptured)
Brown Creeper - 4
Winter Wren - 3
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 10 (plus 2 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 3
American Robin - 2
Gray Catbird - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 2
Field Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 2
Dark-eyed Junco - 2
Northern Cardinal - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
House Finch - 1
American Goldfinch - 25 (plus 10 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 2
-----------------------------------------------

October 22, 2017

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:30
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:00
Hours Open: 6.5 (audio luring for NSWO from 5:30 - 6:30)
Sunrise (E.S.T.):  6:53
Net Hours: 108.5
Temperature (F): 55-72
Cloud Cover: 40-10%
Wind Direction: SSE-S
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-7
Barometer: 30.21 - 30.19
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 30 (plus 15 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 13
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 42.4
Banding Assistants (8.0 hours worked): Mike Charlebois, Stevie Kuroda, Hannah Pelkey, Matthew Porter, Bruce Watson (7.5 hrs), Blanche Wicke. .

 Downy Woodpecker - 1
Blue Jay - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 3 recaptured)
[Carolina Wren - 1 recaptured]
House Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 5 (plus 2 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Hermit Thrush - 3
Song Sparrow - 3
Swamp Sparrow - 2
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
[Northern Cardinal - 3 recaptured]
American Goldfinch  - 9 (plus 6 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------