Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Fall 2019 Bird Banding Season has begun!

I have updated the Bird Banding Blog page (see link at the top of this page, or click here) to include highlights and daily banding details and numbers from our efforts during August at Lake St. Clair Metropark, Macomb County, Michigan.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Spring 2019 Bird Banding Report

I have just posted the complete, detailed report for the spring 2019 bird banding season at Lake St. Clair Metropark. You can access it by clicking on the "Bird Banding Reports" link from the "menu" above.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Spring 2019 Bird Banding Totals - Lake St. Clair Metropark

The spring bird banding season came to a close on Sunday, June 2. Highlights and details of each day covered during the season can be found by clicking on the Bird Banding Blog link above. Presented below are the overall totals for the season.

The station was open on 15 days from April 15 - June 2, for a total of 93.75 hours, and 1268.375 net hours. A total of 1154 birds of 71 species was banded this spring, plus 101 individuals returning from previous years. A more complete report will be completed over the next couple of months.

Spring 2019 Banding Totals (number in parentheses is number of returns)

Green Heron - 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1
Mourning Dove - 1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 18 (1)
Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 2 (2)
Northern Flicker - 4
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1 (1)
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher - 5
Alder Flycatcher - 8
Willow Flycatcher - 12
"Traill's" Flycatcher - 9
Least Flycatcher - 6
Eastern Kingbird - 1
Warbling Vireo - 8 (4)
Red-eyed Vireo - 9
Blue Jay - 10
Tree Swallow - 15
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 19
Barn Swallow - 1
Black-capped Chickadee - 4 (10)
Tufted Titmouse - 1
Red-breasted Nuthatch - 2
White-breasted Nuthatch - (1)
Brown Creeper - 2
House Wren - 23 (1)
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - 71
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - 5
Veery - 8
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 3
Swainson's Thrush - 12
Hermit Thrush - 19
Wood Thrush - 1
American Robin - 25 (1)
Gray Catbird - 15 (3)
Brown Thrasher - 3
European Starling - 7
Cedar Waxwing - 1
Blue-winged Warbler - 2
Tennessee Warbler - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - 2
Nashville Warbler - 9
Northern Parula - 1
Yellow Warbler - 70 (23)
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 9
Magnolia Warbler - 32
Cape May Warbler - 3
Black-throated Blue Warbler - 7
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 51
Blackburnian Warbler - 1
Palm Warbler - 20
Black-and-white Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 45
Ovenbird - 2
Northern Waterthrush - 4
Mourning Warbler - 6
Common Yellowthroat - 62 (2)
Wilson's Warbler - 25
Canada Warbler - 4
Northern Cardinal - 2 (6)
Indigo Bunting - 1
Field Sparrow - 1
Fox Sparrow - 1
Song Sparrow - 15 (3)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 21
Swamp Sparrow - 43
White-throated Sparrow - 24
Red-winged Blackbird - 224 (23)
Common Grackle - 6
Brown-headed Cowbird - 10 (1)
Baltimore Oriole - 24 (7)
House Finch - (1)
American Goldfinch - 75 (12)
House Sparrow - 7

Monday, May 27, 2019

Spring Bird Banding at Lake St. Clair Metropark

Beginning in April, and continuing into early June, bird banding is conducted at Lake St. Clair Metropark, Macomb Co., Michigan. Highlights, and summaries, are posted to the Bird Banding Blog at the link above.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

2018 Peru Birding Trip briefly revisited

After finally getting through reviewing all my photos, and having time to work on some unresolved identifications (mainly of insects), I have posted some of these identifications below.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
If you want to catch up on previous posts about this trip, go to the following links:

Peru Trip Day 1            Peru Trip Day 6              Peru Trip Day 11
Peru Trip Day 2            Peru Trip Day 7              Peru Trip Day 12
Peru Trip Day 3            Peru Trip Day 8              Peru Trip Day 13
Peru Trip Day 4            Peru Trip Day 9              Peru Trip Day 14
Peru Trip Day 5            Peru Trip Day 10
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
At the Koepcke's Hermit feeding station on day 1 and day 2, I photographed a frog that I was sure was too big to be  a Poison Dart Frog. I was wrong! This is a Three-striped Poison Frog
Three-striped Poison Frog (Ameerega trivittata)



















Among the beetles are this fairly large Rhinoceros Beetle at the Owlet Lodge that I am fairly certain is Enema pan (no English name).
Rhinoceros Beetle (Enema pan)


















 And this species of Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Erotylidae) is almost certainly Erotylus incomparabilis.
Pleasing Fungus Beetle (Erotylus incomparabilis)

















The common grasshopper seen almost everywhere on the first few days of the trip, and notable because of its completely white wings that it apparently uses to signal other grasshoppers, has been noticed by many others in northern Peru, so its identification as a member of the Monkey Grasshoppers (sometimes called Airplane Grasshoppers) is fairly certain. The exact species is a little less certain, but I think it could be Paramastax nigra.
Monkey (Airplane) Grasshopper (Paramastax nigra)

















A little surprising was what I learned about the following "grasshopper". First, that it is likely a Katydid, and second, that it might in fact be a species not yet described to science! There are only a couple matches on-line for this one, which was on the wall with moths at Owlet Lodge. At one website, an apparent world authority on Katydids noted that it was one of only a handful of species in the genus Machima, and called it a Moss-mimic Katydid.
Moss-mimic Katydid (Machima sp.)


















There are some wonderful on-line resources available for butterflies and moths of the Andes, which were not available when I last went to Ecuador in 2002. First, let's tackle the butterflies, five of which can be identified to species with a reasonable degree of certainty. First is the swallowtail species that was at the Koepcke's Hermit feeding station, a Neophilus Cattleheart.
Neophilus Cattleheart (Parides neophilus)

















The common species of satyr on the first few days of the trip was almost certainly Weymer's Ringlet, which looks quite different on the upper side than the under side.
Weymer's Ringlet (Cissia proba), upper side
















Weymer's Ringlet (Cissia proba), under side

















Discovered among photos of presumed Weymer's Ringlet was a clearly different species, probably a Cucullina Ringlet.
Cucullina Ringlet (Hermeuptychia cucullina)


















Two very small species, in the Hairstreak family, included one that was probably Hanno Blue.
Hanno Blue (Hemiargus hanno)

















And this one was likely an Empusa Hairstreak.
Empusa Hairstreak (Ostrinotes empusa)

















Moths were much more numerous, so I had a lot more photos of them. One frustration with trying to get an identification based on matching photos to collections on the internet is that many of my photos could be matched, but apparently nobody was able to venture an identification, sometimes for species that seemed rather distinctive and/or colorful. Some I was able to get identified to family, or even genus, but first here are a few that I feel fairly confident can be identified to species. First, a fairly large moth in the family Sphingidae, Sphinx Moths, Adhemarius gannascus (no English name). There are a couple other possible species this could be that are similar.
Sphinx Moth (Adhemarius gannascus)

















Another Sphinx Moth was this cryptic species that I think is Euryglottis aper (no English name), as it is somewhat distinctive in having a "hairy" back.
Sphinx Moth (Euryglottis aper)

















And there were two more very similar Sphinx Moths, probably because they are in the same genus. This first one is probably Xylophanes crotonis.
Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes crotonis)

















This one is likely Xylophanes pyrrhus.
Sphinx Moth (Xylophanes pyrrhus)

















The family Apatelodidae (American Silkworm Moths) is represented by only a couple species in the U.S., but are fairly diverse in the Neotropics. They are fairly easy to identify to family, based on the shape of their wings and the way they hold them. This species, Anticla antica (no English name) is fairly distinctive with its patches of green on its wings.
American Silkworm Moth (Anticla antica)


















This distinctive species, one of two in the same genus, is fairly certainly Epia mucosa.
American Silkworm Moth (Epia mucosa)

















This one I'm less sure about, but could possibly be Epia madeira.
American Silkworm Moth (Epia madeira)


















Another family, the Silk Moths (Saturniidae) is a group of generally large and spectacular moths that are usually fairly common in the tropics. It was surprising that only this one species, Copaxa rufinans, was seen. I am confident of the genus of this moth, but the species might not be correct.
Silk Moth (Copaxa rufinans)

















In the same family, but a different subfamily (Oxyteninae, Hookwings), was this Druce's Hookwing.
Druce's Hookwing (Asthenia buckleyi)


















With about 20,000 species worldwide, and half of those in South America alone, the family Geometridae (Geometers) is very diverse. Most of the species I saw on this trip are still unidentified. A few that I could identify included this fairly typical species, Eois dorsaria (no English name).
Geometer Moth (Eois dorsaria)


















This small species was surprisingly easy to identify. It is called the Golden Heart, for an obvious reason.
Golden Heart (Eubaphe unicolor)


















There are a surprising number of small, green moths in the family Geometridae. Many of them are in a separate subfamily, Geometrinae (Emeralds). But this one is not in that group, but I am pretty sure it is Phyle arcuosaria.
Geometer Moth (Phyle arcuosaria)


















This Geometer moth had iridescent silvery spots on its wings, like some species of butterfly, especially those in the family Riodinidae. But it is definitely a moth (note the feathery antennae), and I think that it is most likely Aplogompha lafayi.
Geometer Moth (Aplogompha lafayi)


















One of the few with an English name was this Burnt Saffron.
Burnt Saffron (Certima espuma)


















A species that I had seen before, in Ecuador, was this Blotched Leopard.
Blotched Leopard (Pantherodes colubraria)

















Blotched Leopard (Pantherodes colubraria)



















Some Geometers fly during the day, and are as brightly colored as any butterfly. This Repanda Flasher was in the grass at Waqanki Lodge. Note again the feathery antennae, indicating that it is a moth, not a butterfly.
Repanda Flasher (Stenele repanda)
















Repanda Flasher (Stenele repanda), in flight!


















These two species of Geometers are likely in the genus Melinoides, but I cannot identify them down to species.
Geometer Moth (Melinoides sp.)

















Geometer Moth (Melinoides sp.)


















Quite a few Geometers are leaf mimics, and are difficult to identify, including these few species.
Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)
















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)
















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)

















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)


















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)

















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)

















Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae)


















One species was a bit more colorful than most of the leaf mimic types.
Leaf Mimic Geometer (Geometridae, Ennominae)

















Pug Moths are a subfamily (Larentiinae) of the Geometridae that are typically small and not brightly colored, but their shape is often distinctive. So I am pretty sure that is what this one is.
Pug Moth sp. (Geometridae, Larentiinae)


















Two species of Emerald (Geometrinae) were seen, but could not be identified to species, or even genus. I did find several matches online for the second one below, but none of those sources provided an identification.
Emerald sp. (Geometridae, Geometrinae)

















Emerald sp. (Geometridae, Geometrinae)

















The family Crambidae has many species that are small and not very colorful, and so can be difficult to identify. In Peru, only one species was able to be identified to species. I'm pretty sure this one is Prenesta fenestrinalis.
Crambid Moth (Prenesta fenestrinalis)


















Another species is probably in the genus Diaphania.
Crambid Moth sp. (Diaphania sp.)


















This one is similar in shape, and could possibly also be in the genus Diaphania, but I could not find any matches online.
Crambid Moth sp.


















The following three species are fairly typical Crambids, based mainly on their shapes, but could not be identified any further.
Crambid Moth sp.

















Crambid Moth sp.

















Crambid Moth sp.



















The subfamily Arctiinae, with many species called Tiger Moths, was formerly in the very large family Noctuidae, but have been moved to a newer family, Erebidae. This is another quite diverse family of moths, and I managed to identify a few fairly distinctive species, including these two species in the genus Dysschema that I am fairly confident in.

Tiger Moth (Dysschema moseroides)
















Tiger Moth (Dysschema porioni)


















Some Tiger Moths have iridescence, like this one that I think is correctly identified, but there is a possibility it could be in the subfamily Ctenuchinae.
Tiger Moth (Cyanopepla micans)

















Another iridescent species, at Waqanki Lodge, was mistakenly identified as a butterfly in my blog entry. This one actually has an English name, Iridescent Tiger, and its scientific name (Hypocrita plagifera) seems to describe its mimicry, or deception, suggesting that it is a hypocrite and a plagiarist!
Iridescent Tiger (Hypocrita plagifera)

















Some Tiger Moths mimic bees and wasps, and would seem to be distinctive. But there are quite a few species, in several genera, and I was not able to come up with an exact match for this one.
Tiger Moth sp. (Erebidae, Arctiinae)


















And these two, clearly Tiger Moths, could also not be identified even to genus even though there were some online sources that showed some that were close, but not exact.
Tiger Moth sp. (Erebidae, Arctiinae)
















Tiger Moth sp. (Erebidae, Arctiinae)

















Another subfamily within Erebidae, the Erebinae, contains many cryptic species. I think I have correctly identified this one to genus.
(Erebidae, Erebinae), Helia sp.


















And these two, despite their differing coloration, seem to have a very similar pattern, especially at the wingtips and the dark "collar", so are probably the same species. Such variations in color within a species is not uncommon among moths. But I can only get the identification to genus, and they are probably Iridopsis sp.
(Erebidae, Erebinae), Iridopsis sp.

















(Erebidae, Erebinae), Iridopsis sp.



















Based on its shape, and color patterns, this moth is likely in the family Lasiocampidae, and looks like the two species we have in Michigan in the genus Tolype.
(Lasiocampidae), Tolype sp.


















This is probably another species in the family Lasiocampidae.
Lasiocampidae (Lappet Moth sp.)


















The odd resting shape of this moth probably places it in the genus Desmoloma, in the family Lymantriidae.
(Lymantriidae), Desmoloma sp.

















Another Lymantriid was this interesting species that was probably in the genus Caviria.
(Lymantriidae), Caviria sp.

















The small, white areas on this moth leads me to think that it is a Looper, in the family Noctuidae, and subfamily Plusiinae.
Looper sp. (Noctuidae, Plusiinae)
























Moths in the family Notodontidae are called Prominents, and are fairly variable. I believe that I have correctly classified the two species below into this family based on their shapes.
Prominent sp. (Notodontidae)


















Prominent sp. (Notodontidae)


















And finally, this moth is in the family Uraniidae, which has some very colorful and iridescent day-flying species. But it is in the subfamily Epipleminae, called Scoopwings due to their very distinctive wing shapes. But all of the Scoopwings I have seen online are tan or brown in color, not iridescent blue like this one, so I can only identify it to subfamily.
Scoopwing sp. (Uraniidae, Epipleminae)

















 If I have made any mistakes in identification, and I'm sure there are a few, or many, I would appreciate any advice on correct identifications.

Some of the online sources I used for identifying the insects in these photos includes:

What's That Bug?

Neotropical Butterflies

Butterflies of Amazon & Andes

Neotropical Butterflies and Moths

Moths of Ecuador

Moth Gallery