Monday, April 13, 2009

Metro Beach Banding - April 11, 2009

The first full day of spring banding was quite wintry for the first few hours (we started setup just after 6 a.m. E.D.T.). The temperature was in the low to mid-40s and the wind was out of the north, sometimes strongly, giving us the effect of wind chill. But better weather is ahead! Eventually the winds diminished a little and the temperature rose through the 40s, ending up in the low 50s. The beautiful blue sky was a nice distraction also.

For this early in the season, the 60 birds banded was quite a good total even if Red-winged Blackbirds dominated the catch (19). One highlight of the day was banding not just one, but FOUR American Tree Sparrows. This species typically leaves southern Michigan by mid-April, and often departs the banding area earlier than that, so these will almost certainly be the only ones we band this spring.

Another early spring migrant is the Fox Sparrow, though it can remain into late April most years. We were lucky to catch two Fox Sparrows today, hopefully not our last for the spring.

Golden-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers were again among the early migrants banded today, while single Winter Wren and Hermit Thrush were the first of the season. Two more Eastern Phoebes were also notable. An interesting situation occurred in early afternoon when all 5 of the Black-capped Chickadees (4 returns, 1 new) were captured on the same net run, but different nets.

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a winnowing Wilson's Snipe before sunrise, a Sora calling in the marsh, and single Eastern Towhee, White-throated Sparrow, Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin.

Many thanks to the volunteer assistants who made banding today possible: Renee Render and Joan Tisdale.


Banding Data:

Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:58 a.m.
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:30
Hours Open: 7.50
No. of Nets: 4.75-13.00
Net Hours: 87.938
Temperature (F): 32-54
Sky: 2o-0% cloud cover
Wind: N @ 7-10-15 mph
Barometer: 30.19 - 30.31
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 60 (plus 14 recaptured and 5 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 15
Capture Rate: 89.8 birds per 100 net hours
Assistants: Renee Render, Joan Tisdale

Downy Woodpecker - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Eastern Phoebe - 2
Black-capped Chickadee - 1 (plus 4 recaptured)
Brown Creeper - 4
Winter Wren - 1
Golden-crowned Kinglet - 4
Hermit Thrush - 1
American Robin - 3
American Tree Sparrow - 4
Fox Sparrow - 2
Song Sparrow - 6 (plus 4 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
Red-winged Blackbird - 19 (plus 1 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
Common Grackle - 1
American Goldfinch - 11 (plus 3 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)

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