Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lake St. Clair Metropark - Fall 2016 Banding Summary

As with previous banding at this park, an effort was made to band two days each week during August, September, October, and the first week of November in 2016. out of a possible 26 days during that period, only 23 days were operated partly due to not getting enough volunteers to help set up the site (which must be taken down completely each day), but also due to uncooperative wether, which abbreviated efforts on an additional 4 days. The average number of days the old MBMP station (back in Point Rosa Marsh) was operated over 10 fall seasons (2004-2014) was 23.5.

With this being the first full fall season of effort at this new site (LSCMP) adjacent to the Meadow Loop trail near the Nature Center, it might not make sense to compare numbers to the old site which, although very close by, has different habitats. Some interesting differences were noted, however, that may or may not prove to be consistent over time, which may be related to habitat. More relevant is a comparison with the 14 "experimental" days of banding at this new site in fall 2015 (6 Sep - 25 Oct). Although number of net hours was 125% higher than in 2015, the total number of birds was only 63% higher, and the overall capture rate (birds per 100 net hours) was actually 21% lower.

This fall's 142 (6.34/100 Net Hours) Swainson's Thrushes was well above the 10-year average at MBMP of 34.7 (2.73/100 NH), and higher than last fall's total of 32 (3.18/100 NH) here, and even exceeded the annual record of 53 (3.00/100 NH) at MBMP set in 2009. This seems even more remarkable given that this new site covers less than half the area (3 acres) of the MBMP site (7 acres). Equally amazing was the record number of Gray-cheeked Thrushes; 48 (2.14/100 NH) this fall, compared with 16 (1.59/100 NH) last fall, and the MBMP record of 32 (3.00/100 NH) set in 2005. The number of Golden-crowned Kinglets (75; 3.35/100 NH) and Ruby-crowned Kinglets (91; 4.06/100 NH) were both above the 10-year average at MBMP (66; 5.19/100 NH, and 48; 3.80/100 NH respectively). Warbler numbers were considered low, with 178 individuals of 18 species (143 individuals of 18 species in 2015 with only partial effort). Most notable was only 29 (1.29/100 NH) Nashville Warblers this fall, after a total of 46 (4.56/100 NH) last fall. by any measure, sparrow numbers were abysmal. The 10-year average for White-throated Sparrows at MBMP is 217 (17.1/100 NH), and in the partial season last year at LSCMP a total of 61 (6.07/100 NH) was banded. Only 29 (1.29/100 NH) were banded this fall. Song and Swamp Sparrows were much less numerous than at MBMP, but this is expected due to the drier habitats at LSCMP. The total number banded at LSCMP in fall 2016 (1065) was far below the 10-year average for MBMP (1714), but the number of species captured (72) was above the 10-year average (70.3).

Captures that were considered unusual included Sharp-shinned Hawk, Black-billed Cuckoo, Eastern Screech-Owl, two Northern Saw-whet Owls (a first for either site!), Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown Thrasher, and Purple Finch. Given that this site is fairly new, there were no interesting recaptures this fall.

Totals banded for each species are listed below. A more complete report for both spring and fall will be finished sometime in February or March. A virtual tour of the banding area, with photos of all the net lanes, is planned to be posted sooner.

Banding could not have been done this fall without the help of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Terri Chapdelaine, Jacob Charlebois, Mike Charlebois, Carol Goodman, Jean Gramlich, Jim Greer, Stevie Kuroda, Gary Ladowski, Robin Ladowski, Dave Lancaster, Ava Lau, Harry Lau, Rose Lau, Tessa Lau, Kim Patrick, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke, Christian Zammit, Julian Zammit, Pia Zammit. 

Species Banded - No. Banded (No. per 100 net hours)

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1 (0.04)
Black-billed Cuckoo - 1 (0.04)
Eastern Screech-Owl - 1 (0.04)
Northern Saw-whet Owl - 2 (0.09)
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 59 (2.50)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker - 1 (0.04)
Downy Woodpecker - 6 (0.27)
Hairy Woodpecker - 1 (0.04)
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 4 (0.18)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 9 (0.40)
Alder Flycatcher - 2 (0.09)
Willow Flycatcher - 1 (0.04)
"Traill's" Flycatcher - 4 (0.18)
Least Flycatcher - 9 (0.40)
Eastern Phoebe - 6 (0.27)
Great Crested Flycatcher - 1 (0.04)
Blue-headed Vireo - 1 (0.04)
Warbling Vireo - 9 (0.40)
Philadelphia Vireo - 3 (0.13)
Red-eyed Vireo - 3 (0.13)
Blue Jay - 2 (0.09)
Black-capped Chickadee - 18 (0.80)
Tufted Titmouse - 3 (0.13)
Brown Creeper - 9 (0.40)
Carolina Wren - 1 (0.04)
House Wren - 16 (0.71)
Winter Wren - 11 (0.49)
Marsh Wren - 3 (0.13)
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 75 (3.35)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 91 (4.06)
Veery - 7 (0.31)
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 48 (2.14)
Swainson's Thrush - 142 (6.34)
Hermit Thrush - 69 (3.08)
Wood Thrush - 2 (0.09)
American Robin - 44 (1.96)
Gray Catbird - 21 (0.94)
Brown Thrasher - 1 (0.04)
European Starling - 1 (0.04)
Tennessee Warbler - 4 (0.18)
Orange-crowned Warbler - 8 (0.36)
Nashville Warbler - 29 (1.29)
Yellow Warbler - 2 (0.09)
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 1 (0.04)
Magnolia Warbler - 28 (1.25)
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 12 (0.54)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 8 (0.36)
Blackburnian Warbler - 1 (0.04)
Palm Warbler - 8 (0.36)
Bay-breasted Warbler - 2 (0.09)
Blackpoll Warbler - 11 (0.49)
Black-and-white Warbler - 5 (0.22)
American Redstart - 14 (0.62)
Ovenbird - 15 (0.67)
Northern Waterthrush - 3 (0.13)
Common Yellowthroat - 17 (0.76)
Wilson's Warbler - 10 (0.45)
Northern Cardinal - 17 (0.76)
Eastern Towhee - 1 (0.04)
American Tree Sparrow - 26 (1.16)
Field Sparrow - 1 (0.04)
Fox Sparrow - 8 (0.36)
Song Sparrow - 26 (1.16)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 1 (0.04)
Swamp Sparrow - 10 (0.45)
White-throated Sparrow - 29 (1.29)
White-crowned Sparrow - 4 (0.18)
Dark-eyed Junco - 13 (0.58)
Red-winged Blackbird - 17 (0.76)
Purple Finch - 1 (0.04)
American Goldfinch - 42 (1.87)
House Sparrow - 3 (0.13)


Sunday, November 20, 2016

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - October 30 - November 6, 2016

I haven't felt like blogging the past couple of weeks due to illness and other stresses, but the season does need to be closed out and summaries posted. The last three days of banding this fall were not spectacular days, but not too bad either, with a reasonable number of birds, bringing the total banded over 1000, which puts this season as the 3rd lowest fall since 2004. Rain continued to plague the station, forcing us to close for 2 1/2 hours in the middle of the morning on October 30, and forcing us to close early on November 2. Fog in the morning of November 6 did not develop into anything more serious, so we finished the season with a "normal" amount of coverage. The end of Daylight Savings Time changed our start time by an hour on November 6, so we didn't have as much darkness to try to audio-lure for owls.

Highlights of the 21 birds banded on Sunday, October 30, included a single Yellow-rumped Warbler, which was one day short of being record late banded, although this species is often seen well into November in southeastern Michigan.
Hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler















Hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler

















Hatch-year female Yellow-rumped Warbler


















Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included 3 lingering Wood Ducks, a Cooper's Hawk flyover, and two flyover Cedar Waxwings.

Highlights of the 45 birds banded on Wednesday, November 2, included a record late Nashville Warbler.
Hatch-year male Nashville Warbler


















It was also a good day for kinglets, especially Golden-crowned. Sparrows were still low in number but a bit more interesting with 3 Fox Sparrows, and a very late (for banding) White-crowned Sparrow.
Hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow


















Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included an adult Red-tailed Hawk that was hunting in the grass near the banding table.
Red-tailed Hawk with unidentified prey item

















Four American Pipits flew over, headed toward the beach, and there were a few White-throated Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos in the area, and a Purple Finch flew over also.

Highlights of the 41 birds banded on Sunday, November 6, included a good total of 20 American Tree Sparrows, the second highest number banded in a single day here.
Hatch-year American Tree Sparrow
















Another 3 Fox Sparrows brightened our day, while the 3 Swamp Sparrows were record late.
Hatch-year Swamp Sparrow
















Hatch-year Swamp Sparrow


















And the last bird of the day, and the season, was a White-throated Sparrow. It was only the 29th of the season, which is typically not anywhere near what a typical peak DAY would be here. I really don't know what happened to this species this fall.
Hatch-year White-throated Sparrow


















Interesting birds observed, but not banded today included a hunting Sharp-shinned Hawk, a calling Great Horned Owl before first light, two lingering Sandhill Cranes calling from the north marsh, a late Belted Kingfisher, a Red-breasted Nuthatch in the Cottonwood tree right above the banding table, and several flyover Purple Finches. The absence of kinglets, both in the nets and in the woods, was a bit odd for this time of year.

Banding on these three days could not have been conducted without the help of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda, Dave Lancaster, Ava Lau, Harry Lau, Rose Lau, Tessa Lau, Kim Patrick, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke, Christian Zammit, Juilian Zammit, Pia Zammit.

Bird Banding Results

October 30, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 11:45
Hours Open: 3.5 (closed 6:15-9:45 due to rain)
Net Hours: 57.125
Temperature (F): 54-52-54
Cloud Cover: 100%-80%-100%
Wind Direction: NW-N
Wind Speed (mph): 3-7-12
Barometer: 29.99 - 30.11
Precipitation:  Rain from 6:15 - 9:30.
No. Banded: 21 (plus 11 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 10
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 57.8
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda, Kim Patrick (1.0 hrs), Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke.

[Black-capped Chickadee - 4 recaptured]
Tufted Titmouse - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 2
Brown Creeper - 1
Hermit Thrush - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 1
Dark-eyed Junco - 2
American Goldfinch - 10 (plus 6 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
-----------------------------------------------

November 2, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 11:45
Hours Open: 6.0
Net Hours: 97.0
Temperature (F): 59-61
Cloud Cover: 80-100%
Wind Direction: SSW
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-5
Barometer: 30.12 - 29.42
Precipitation: Trace rain in a.m., steady rain at 12:45
No. Banded: 45 (plus 4 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured:  12
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 51.5
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Dave Lancaster, Kim Patrick (2.0 hrs), Blanche Wicke (6.25 hrs).

[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 1
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 20
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 5
Hermit Thrush - 2
Nashville Warbler - 1
American Tree Sparrow - 5 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Fox Sparrow - 3
Song Sparrow - 1
White-crowned Sparrow - 1
American Goldfinch - 5 (plus 3 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

November 6, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:15
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open:  6.75
Net Hours: 108.75
Temperature (F): 45-59
Cloud Cover: 20-50-0%
Wind Direction: W-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-5
Barometer: 29.71 - 29.75
Precipitation:  Fog in a.m.
No. Banded: 41 (plus 7 recaptured)
Species Captured: 12
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 44.1
Banding Assistants (8.0 hours worked): Jenifer Benke, Stevie Kuroda, Ava Lau (4.5 hrs), Harry Lau, Rose Lau (4.5 hrs), Tessa Lau, Kim Patrick (7.5 hrs), Bruce Watson, Christian Zammit (2.5 hrs), Julian Zammit (2.5 hrs), Pia Zammit (2.5 hrs).

Black-capped Chickadee - 3 (plus 4 recaptured)
Winter Wren - 1
Hermit Thrush - 2
American Tree Sparrow - 20
Fox Sparrow - 3
Swamp Sparrow - 3
White-throated Sparrow - 1
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1
American Goldfinch - 4 (plus 3 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 1
-----------------------------------------------

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - October 16-26, 2016

Once again, coverage and volunteer participation has been good over the past two weeks with four days of banding conducted, although rain closed us down early on two of those days. Sparrows are still mysteriously scarce, but numbers of kinglets and thrushes (mainly Hermits) remain good. Temperatures have finally dropped to the normal range for this time of year, which may help migration, but makes operating our station a little challenging as we are outdoors all day (though the Nature Center is close by and is usually available from 9:00 a.m. on for us).
Banding table, with banding area behind.
















With sunrise occurring later now (almost 8 a.m. EDT), our start time of 6 a.m., when the park gates open, allows us to get more than half the nets set up and open while it is still dark. This is a prime time to make a brief attempt before sunrise to capture owls, which we do using an audio lure. A single MP3 player with a speaker placed at the center of the setup can be heard from all of the 17.25 nets in the 3-acre area where we work. We have been doing this for the past 5 years or so, with an occasional Eastern Screech-Owl being captured. Some interesting results of these efforts this month are discussed below.

Highlights of the 47 birds banded on Sunday, October 16 included the first, and possibly last, Blue-headed Vireo of the season.
Hatch-year Blue-headed Vireo
















After hearing them singing and calling near the nets for more than a month, we finally caught one of the Carolina Wrens, which are uncommon permanent residents in the park as we are near the northern edge of their breeding range. They seem to move around a lot from year-to-year, but are always somewhere in or near the park.
Hatch-year Carolina Wren
















The audio-lure was set this morning to play Eastern Screech-Owl, as it might be a bit early for Northern Saw-whet Owls to be in our area, and we got an immediate reply. But although we were able to let the audio-lure run for about 45 minutes, we did not catch the owl. Other interesting birds observed, but not captured, included a pair of Sandhill Cranes calling from the nearby marsh, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and a couple of Rusty Blackbirds. Rain began at 11:30 (EDT), after we had removed all birds from the nets and had pushed them closed. My heroic volunteers took the nets down in the increasingly heavy rain, while I finished banding the last few birds under a canopy. They deserve double credit for today!

Highlights of the 43 birds banded on Wednesday, October 19 included a record early (by 4 days) American Tree Sparrow, which is a bit unusual in this poor year for sparrows.
Hatch-year American Tree Sparrow

















And we finally captured our first Fox Sparrow of the season; about 3 weeks later than expected.
Hatch-year Fox Sparrow















Hatch-year Fox Sparrow
















Hatch-year Fox Sparrow


















The Eastern Screech-Owl audio-lure this morning did not elicit any responses. Interesting species observed but not banded today included flyover American Wigeon and Northern Pintails, and apparent migrant Sharp-shinned Hawk and Peregrine Falcon. Three somewhat late Tree Swallows flew over along with a lot of other songbirds that were clearly heading south, including a big flock of several thousand Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and a few Rusty Blackbirds. At least 4 Red-breasted Nuthatches were also noted, and were probably moving through, as well as a couple flyover Purple Finches.

Highlights of the 39 birds banded on Sunday, October 23 included our first success with the owl audio-lure, a nice gray morph Eastern Screech-Owl, only the 4th ever banded in the park.
Hatch-year Eastern Screech-Owl

















It was captured about 15 minutes before sunrise, and released a couple minutes after sunrise into a nice protected thicket. You can actually see the sunrise in the bird's eyes in the next photo. No flash photography is allowed at this station of any owls. We provided light for photography using my head lamp, which was aimed at the lower part of the owls body well away from its eyes, and we only allowed for a two minute photo session before it was released.
Hatch-year Eastern Screech-Owl
















A big surprise was a female Purple Finch caught in the net near the thistle feeders, which was only the 3rd banded in the park since 2004 (one was banded in 1993 at the Point Rosa Marsh location).
Hatch-year female Purple Finch
















The (indistinct in this individual) white supercilium and maler, and lack of brown wash on the flanks, distinguishes this bird from female House Finch. The upper mandible tends to be straight in Purple Finches and curved in House Finches, so the slight curvature of this bird's bill shows that using that character alone might not result in a correct identification.
Hatch-year female Purple Finch

















Interesting birds observed but not banded today included a flyover flock of 100 or so Canvasbacks, and a few Lesser Scaup, all heading south toward Lake St. Clair. The long-staying Osprey (over 3 weeks now) flew directly overhead and seemed to be hunting over the channel immediately adjacent to our banding area. A Bonaparte's Gull flew over very high overhead and two American Pipits flew over much lower, headed toward the beach. Several Rusty Blackbirds spent some time in the woods across the channel from our nets, and the first Pine Siskins of the fall flew over with a few more Purple Finches as well. Surprisingly early was a calling Common Redpoll flying over. We noticed several Monarch butterflies migrating today, and a nice fresh Eastern Comma was also observed. Several Banded Woollybear caterpillars, which will transform into Isabella Tiger Moths, were seen today as well.

On the morning of Wednesday, October 26, we started by playing Northern Saw-whet Owl on the audio-lure, and were very pleasantly surprised when we caught TWO of them at once, about a half-hour before sunrise! These are the first ever banded in this park, and the first I've ever banded under my permit (I've helped band them other places).
Hatch-year female Northern Saw-whet Owl
















Ageing these owls is easier using an ultraviolet (black) light, but these birds were not captured in the dark, so that wasn't possible. The uniform appearance of their primaries and secondaries indicated that they were both hatch-year birds.
Hatch-year female Northern Saw-whet Owl

















Using wing chord and weight criteria from Project Owlnet, it was determined that both individuals were females...one based on weight alone (101 g).
Hatch-year female Northern Saw-whet Owl

















We took only two minutes for our photo session, using the same lighting techniques we did for the previously captured Eastern Screech-Owl described above, and only for the first Saw-whet...the second bird was not photographed at all but released immediately after processing. Both owls were placed in dense sheltered thickets, a few minutes before sunrise.

Interesting birds observed but not banded included an American Woodcock flushed from near the Bat Net while it was still dark, and a Fox Sparrow flushed from one of the thickets were we released one of the owls. Impending rain forced us to close the station early today, but unlike before, we got everything taken down and packed into the car before the rain started. Dry volunteers are happy volunteers!

Banding on these four days could not have been done without the capable assistance of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Jacob Charlebois, Mike Charlebois, Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda, Dave Lancaster, Ava Lau, Harry Lau, Rose Lau, Bruce Watson, and Blanche Wicke. Three more banding days are planned between October 30 and November 6, so there will be one more banding update this fall.

Bird Banding Results

October 16, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 9:15 (rain forced early close)
Hours Open: 3.5
Net Hours: 57.125
Temperature (F): 66-63
Cloud Cover: 50%-100%
Wind Direction: SW
Wind Speed (mph): 7-10
Barometer: 29.34 - 29.36
Precipitation:  Rain started at 9:30
No. Banded: 47 (plus 7 recaptured)
Species Captured: 12
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 94.5
Banding Assistants (5.5 hours worked): Jenifer Benke, Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke.

Blue-headed Vireo - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
Brown Creeper - 1
Carolina Wren - 1
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 16 (plus 2 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 9 (plus 1 recaptured)
Nashville Warbler - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 1
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
American Goldfinch - 7
-----------------------------------------------

October 19, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 6.75
Net Hours: 111.062
Temperature (F): 52-64
Cloud Cover: 0-40%
Wind Direction: WNW-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 1-3-5
Barometer: 29.40 - 29.50
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 43 (plus 5 recaptured, 2 released unbanded)
Species Captured:  14
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 45.0
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Mike Charlebois (4.0 hrs), Carol Goodman, Dave Lancaster, Blanche Wicke (4.5 hrs).

Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 6 (plus 4 recaptured)
Hermit Thrush - 7 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 3
American Tree Sparrow - 1
Fox Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 2
Swamp Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 6 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Dark-eyed Junco - 5
Northern Cardinal - 1
American Goldfinch - 1
-----------------------------------------------

October 23, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open:  6.75
Net Hours: 112.062
Temperature (F): 46-59
Cloud Cover: 50-0%
Wind Direction: Calm-SW
Wind Speed (mph): 0-3
Barometer: 29.97 - 29.94
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 39 (plus 2 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 15
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 37.5
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Jenifer Benke (5.0 hrs), Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson. 

Eastern Screech-Owl - 1
Eastern Phoebe - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 3
Brown Creeper - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6
Hermit Thrush - 9
American Robin - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Fox Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 5
Dark-eyed Junco - 3 (plus 1 released unbanded)
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
Purple Finch - 1
American Goldfinch - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

October 26, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 10:30 (rain forced early close)
Hours Open:  4.5
Net Hours: 74.375
Temperature (F): 39-43
Cloud Cover: 100%
Wind Direction: E
Wind Speed (mph): 5-7-10
Barometer: 30.47 - 30.48
Precipitation:  Rain at 12:15
No. Banded: 33 (plus 6 recaptured)
Species Captured: 13
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 52.4
Banding Assistants (6.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Jacob Charlebois (4.0 hrs), Dave Lancaster, Harry Lau, Ava Lau (2.5 hrs), Rose Lau (2.5 hrs). 

NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL - 2
[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
[Tufted Titmouse - 2 recaptured]
Brown Creeper - 2
Winter Wren - 2
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 2
Hermit Thrush - 17
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 1
White-throated Sparrow - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
American Goldfinch - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------

Monday, October 17, 2016

Lake St. Clair Metropark bird banding report - October 2-12, 2016

For the first time this fall, we reached the standard of two days per week banding, so this report will cover four days of effort. The first half of October in this region typically sees the slow replacement of warblers with sparrows. But the sparrow migration has been very mysterious, with White-throated and White-crowned very late in arriving and in very small numbers, while Fox Sparrows failed to materialize at all. A typical peak banding day for White-throats would be several dozen birds on about October 5, but this year that date saw our FIRST ones of the season banded, and rather low numbers. A few late flycatchers were banded in early October, while thrushes continued in good numbers, with Hermit Thrushes finally arriving (also about two weeks later than normal).

Highlights of the 40 birds banded on Sunday, October 2 included a hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk. Our nets are sized to work best for warblers, sparrows, and thrushes, so larger birds like this often get away, but hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawks aren't much different in size than Blue Jays.
Hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk












Hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk














Hatch-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk























The last interesting bird captured today was a surprisingly late Black-billed Cuckoo.
Hatch-year Black-billed Cuckoo

















Adult Black-billed Cuckoos have red eye rings, but hatch-years have olive.
Hatch-year Black-billed Cuckoo

















Two Empidonax flycatchers were banded today, probably the last of the season. Note the bold white eye ring and generally grayish tones on the Least Flycatcher, and the bold yellowish eye ring, greenish tones, and suggestion of blurry streaks on the breast on the Yellow-bellied Flycatcher.
Hatch-year Least Flycatcher













Hatch-year Yellow-bellied Flycatcher




















Also somewhat late was our third Philadelphia Vireo of the season.
Hatch-year Philadelphia Vireo

















A few Brown Thrashers were in the banding area today, so it wasn't too surprising that we caught one, though they aren't captured here every year.
Hatch-year Brown Thrasher

















Of the 20 warblers of 9 species captured today, the two Palm Warblers were the first of the season. It seems possible that the stationary weather system over Ohio and Michigan the last week of September may have held up some warbler and flycatcher migrants, and perhaps has helped delay the sparrows.
Hatch-year Palm Warbler

















Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Merlin, several migrating Chimney Swifts, a briefly singing Winter Wren, and the first Golden-crowned Kinglets, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows of the fall.

Highlights of the 58 birds banded on Wednesday, October 5, included the first two Winter Wrens of the season.
Hatch-year Winter Wren
















Hatch-year Winter Wren
















The third Marsh Wren of the season was also interesting, given the lack of marsh habitat in the immediate vicinity of the nets.
Hatch-year Marsh Wren

















Three other species were captured today for the first time this fall, all of them about two weeks later than expected; Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, and White-throated Sparrow.
Hatch-year male Golden-crowned Kinglet


Hatch-year Hermit Thrush

Hatch-year White-throated Sparrow













































Only a few warblers were banded today, and included a somewhat late Bay-breasted Warbler.
Hatch-year male Bay-breasted Warbler
















There were clearly a few Eastern Towhees in the banding station today, the first of the season, and it was nice to actually catch one, a nice adult male.
After hatch-year male Eastern Towhee


After hatch-year male Eastern Towhee































Interesting birds observed, but not banded today included flyover Sharp-shinned Hawk and American Kestrel, a few Yellow-rumped Warblers, an Indigo Bunting, and the first Rusty Blackbird of the fall.

Highlights of the 62 birds banded on Saturday, October 8, included two warblers that were somewhat late, a Tennessee Warbler and an Ovenbird.
Hatch-year Tennessee Warbler















Hatch-year Ovenbird


















Other warblers banded today included Orange-crowned, Nashville, Yellow-rumped, Common Yellowthroat, and 6 Palm Warblers, which was one short of the single day record back at the Point Rosa station elsewhere in the park. It was also a fairly good day for sparrows, with a few more White-throated, a few Swamp Sparrows, and the season's first three White-crowned Sparrows.
Hatch-year White-crowned Sparrow

















An uncommon capture for us was the season's first Field Sparrow.
Hatch-year Field Sparrow















Hatch-year Field Sparrow

















The season's first Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco was a bit late, although several had been in the banding area for more than a week.
Hatch-year female Dark-eyed (Slate-colored) Junco
















Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included a small movement of migrating raptors; 4 Turkey Vultures, 4 Sharp-shinned Hawks, and an American Kestrel. The season's first American Woodcock was flushed out of the banding area while we were opening the nets in the dark. A few swallows were noted migrating overhead as well, including Tree and Northern Rough-winged.

Highlights of the 86 birds banded on Wednesday, October 12, included three Eastern Phoebes, and very good numbers of both Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Three species of thrush were captured today, with most (8) being the expected Hermit Thrush, but also single Swainson's and Gray-cheeked Thrushes. The Gray-cheeked tied the record late date for banding in this park.
Hatch-year Gray-cheeked Thrush
















Only 5 warblers of 3 species were captured today; Orange-crowned (3), Nashville, and Black-throated Blue.

Interesting birds observed, but not banded, included an Osprey that has been hanging around for at least two weeks, a few migrant Chimney Swifts, Yellow-rumped Warblers, and Dark-eyed Juncos.

Banding on these four days could not have been done without the great help of the following volunteers: Jenifer Benke, John Bieganowski, Rose Burke, Terri Chapdelaine, Mike Charlebois, Carol Goodman, Jim Greer, Stevie Kuroda, Dave Lancaster, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke, Julian Zammit, and Pia Zammit.

Bird Banding Results

October 2, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:30 (light rain delayed open)
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 6.0
Net Hours: 103.50
Temperature (F): 55-66
Cloud Cover: 100%-50%
Wind Direction: Calm-WSW
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5-7
Barometer: 29.36 - 29.38
Precipitation:  Lt. rain until 6:15
No. Banded: 40 (plus 4 recaptured)
Species Captured: 22
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 42.5
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): Jenifer Benke, Terri Chapdelaine, Carol Goodman, Stevie Kuroda (7.0 hrs), Bruce Watson (7.0 hrs), Blanche Wicke.

Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Black-billed Cuckoo - 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 1
Least Flycatcher - 1
Philadelphia Vireo - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 1
Brown Creeper - 1
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 2
Swainson's Thrush - 4
Gray Catbird - 4
Brown Thrasher - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 3
Magnolia  Warbler - 4
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 3
Palm Warbler - 2
Blackpoll Warbler - 3
American Redstart - 1
[Ovenbird - 1 recaptured]
Common Yellowthroat - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
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October 5, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open: 6.75
Net Hours: 109.062
Temperature (F): 63-73
Cloud Cover: 70-20%
Wind Direction: Calm-SE
Wind Speed (mph): 0-5-10
Barometer: 29.51 - 29.50
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 58 (plus 3 recaptured)
Species Captured:  17
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 55.9
Banding Assistants (9.0 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Rose Burke (8.0 hrs), Mike Charlebois (3.5 hrs), Dave Lancaster, Blanche Wicke (7.0 hrs).

Eastern Phoebe - 1
Tufted Titmouse - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Winter Wren - 2
Marsh Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 10
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 17
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 2
Swainson's Thrush - 7
Hermit Thrush - 1
Gray Catbird - 3
Nashville Warbler - 3
Bay-breasted Warbler - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 1
Eastern Towhee - 1
Song Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 4
Northern Cardinal - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
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October 8, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 12:30
Hours Open:  6.5
Net Hours: 108.875
Temperature (F): 52-57
Cloud Cover: 10-0%
Wind Direction: WNW-W
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-12
Barometer: 29.53 - 29.54
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 62 (plus 3 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 22
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 60.6
Banding Assistants (8.5 hours worked): Terri Chapdelaine (5.0 hrs), Stevie Kuroda, Bruce Watson, Blanche Wicke. 

Downy Woodpecker - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
[Tufted Titmouse - 1 recaptured]
House Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 3
Swainson's Thrush - 2
Hermit Thrush - 13
Orange-crowned Warbler - 1
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Nashville Warbler - 3
Blackpoll Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 3
Palm Warbler - 6
Ovenbird - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 2
Field Sparrow - 1
Swamp Sparrow - 5
White-throated Sparrow - 8 (plus 1 released unbanded)
White-crowned Sparrow - 3
Dark-eyed Junco - 1
American Goldfinch - 1
-----------------------------------------------

October 12, 2016

Time open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time closed (E.S.T.): 13:00
Hours Open: 7.0
Net Hours: 114.25
Temperature (F): 57-68
Cloud Cover: 10-95%
Wind Direction: S
Wind Speed (mph): 3-5-10
Barometer: 29.50 - 29.36
Precipitation:  None
No. Banded: 86 (plus 1 recaptured, 1 released unbanded)
Species Captured: 14
Capture Rate (#/100 net hours): 77.0
Banding Assistants (9.5 hours worked): John Bieganowski, Jim Greer (8.5 hrs), Dave Lancaster, Julian Zammit (8.5 hrs), Pia Zammit (8.5 hrs). 

Eastern Phoebe - 3
Blue Jay - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 2
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 21 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 38
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 1
Swainson's Thrush - 1
Hermit Thrush - 8
American Robin - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 3
Nashville Warbler - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 1
American Goldfinch - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
-----------------------------------------------