Monday, May 20, 2013

Metro Beach banding station report - May 4-18, 2013

Family health issues forced cancellation of banding on one day (May 10), and prevented me from updating this blog until now. So, this entry is longer than usual as it covers four days of banding, Saturday May 4, Saturday May 11, Monday May 13, and Saturday May 18.

The first two weeks of May saw temperatures near normal after some cooler days in April, though the starting temperature on May 13 was only 32 degrees! And the rainy conditions abated, which resulted in less wet and muddy conditions in the banding area. Warblers and thrushes finally arrived, perhaps a week later than normal, while White-throated Sparrows petered out considerably with the result that this spring may be the lowest number ever banded. A total of 279 birds was banded on these four days, bringing the total for the spring to 559. Only 171 more birds and the station will have its 20,000th bird banded since 2004 (about 15,000 from 1989-1999). If you would care to guess what the species will be, post it in the comments section of this blog. In the meantime, enjoy the many highlights below.

As always, banding could not be conducted without the efforts of dedicated volunteers, which on these four days included: Chris Charlebois, Jacob Charlebois, Jean Gramlich, Dave Lancaster, Scott Nottmeier, Tom Schlack, Joan Tisdale, Ai Wen, and Blanche Wicke.

Highlights of the 46 birds banded on Saturday, May 4 included the first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season, which was record early for this location by one day.
After hatch-year male Ruby-throated Hummingbird

An Eastern Phoebe was interesting because it was record late, by about three weeks! Phoebes don't nest in the park as far as I know, so all those here are migrants, and migration generally occurs in April here.
After hatch-year Eastern Phoebe

Some other migrants were just about on time, including Warbling Vireo, and Veery.
After hatch-year Warbling Vireo

After hatch-year Veery

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a calling Sora, two Least Flycatchers, a Brown Thrasher, and two Nashville Warblers.

Highlights of the 53 birds banded on Saturday, May 11 included a Northern Flicker, which is infrequently captured as they can get out of the nets we use fairly easily. note the lack of black whisker mark, indicating that it was a female.
Second-year female Northern Flicker

Arriving rather late was the first Gray Catbird of the season.
After second-year Gray Catbird

As today was also the North American Migration Count, we were hoping to perhaps band a species or two that was not detected elsewhere in the park. But it was surprising that this Cedar Waxwing was the only one today.
After hatch-year female Cedar Waxwing

Several warblers banded today were firsts for the season, all later arrivals than normal, including Nashville, Magnolia, Ovenbird, and Northern Waterthrush.
After hatch-year male Nashville Warbler

After second-year male Magnolia Warbler

After hatch-year Ovenbird

After hatch-year Northern Waterthrush

Two Lincoln's Sparrows were the first for the season, and a bit later than normal as well.
After hatch-year Lincoln's Sparrow

And the female Indigo Bunting was not only the first of the season of this very infrequently banded species, but it was the only one found on the bird count in the park this day.
After second-year female Indigo Bunting

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Swainson's Thrush and a somewhat late Hermit Thrush. Additional warblers observed included Northern Parula, Chestnut-sided, Bay-breasted, Black-and-white, Wilson's, and American Redstart.

Highlights of the 59 birds banded on Monday, May 13 included the first Empidonax flycatcher of the spring, a Least, which was about a week later than normal.
After hatch-year Least Flycatcher

Every spring, I expect to band newly hatched young of at least one species. Most years it is an American Robin, or sometimes a Common Grackle, and always in the last week of May or first week of June. This year it was quite a surprise to capture two recently fledged Carolina Wrens, along with one of its parents which was banded originally last year.
Hatch-year Carolina Wren

Two more warbler species were firsts for the spring, Black-and-white (four!) and a single Palm Warbler. The Palm was quite overdue.
Second-year male Black-and-white Warbler

After hatch-year Palm Warbler

Yellow Warblers rarely make it into the highlights after the first one gets banded, but one captured today was special. It was originally banded on May 11, 2011 as a second-year male based on the fairly broad chestnut streaks on its breast. But in June of that year it was recaptured and had an extensive brood patch, and was clearly forming an egg in its abdomen!
After second-year female Yellow Warbler

Although they first arrived in the banding area in the first few days of May, the first Baltimore Orioles of the spring were captured today, including this brilliant after second-year male.
After second-year male Baltimore Oriole

A real surprise, partly because only a handful have been banded here since 2004, but also because they are quite rare after May 5, was this record late Rusty Blackbird.
Second-year female Rusty Blackbird

Second-year female Rusty Blackbird

Second-year female Rusty Blackbird

Interesting birds observed but not banded included a Wood Thrush, Black-throated Green Warbler, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak.

Highlights of the 121 birds banded on Saturday, May 18 included a Red-bellied Woodpecker, a species that is fairly common in the area but is rarely captured.
Second-year female Red-bellied Woodpecker

Two Eastern Wood-Pewees were captured, one previously banded and one not, in a very unusual location; the Field Nets.
After hatch-year Eastern Wood-Pewee

The five Veeries banded today was only one short of the record for a single day, so it was not surprising that a Gray-cheeked Thrush was also captured (but still no Swainson's even though they've been observed in the area!).
Second-year Gray-cheeked Thrush

Golden-winged Warbler is a very infrequently banded species at this station, so it was nice to see this second-year female in the nets.
Second-year female Golden-winged Warbler

After being observed in the banding area for at least a week in small numbers, there were so many American Redstarts today that it would have been embarrassing not to catch one. And in fact, we caught 14 of them today!
Second-year female American Redstart

After second-year male American Redstart

It has been an interesting if not odd spring, with lots of late arrivals, but also with normally later species arriving more or less on time, including this Canada Warbler (two males were also observed in the banding area).
Second-year female Canada Warbler

And Wilson's Warbler is also in the category of a generally later migrant that seemed to arrive just about on time today.
After hatch-year male Wilson's Warbler

The best bird of the day came on the last net run, a brilliant male Scarlet Tanager. Since 2004, only one other tanager has been banded, and that one was a female in spring 2005.
Second-year male Scarlet Tanager

Second-year male Scarlet Tanager

Interesting birds observed but not banded were numerous as there were many, many birds around today, and included a Ruby-throated Hummingbird, a somewhat late Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Tennessee, Black-throated Blue, Blackburnian, and Blackpoll Warblers, and Rose-breasted Grosbeak and Indigo Bunting.

Banding Data
SATURDAY, May 4, 2013
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:23
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:15
Hours Open: 7.50
No. of Nets: 4.75-13.75
Net Hours: 96.125
Temperature (F): 54-70
Cloud Cover: 20-90%
Wind: SE @ 5-7 mph
Barometer: 29.49-29.52
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 46 (plus 13 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 20
Capture Rate: 64.5 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.0 hours, 5:00-15:00): Jacob Charlebois, Jean Gramlich, Scott Nottmeier (6.0 hrs), Blanche Wicke.

Ruby-throated Hummingbird - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 2
Eastern Phoebe - 1
Warbling Vireo - 2
Blue Jay - 4
Tree Swallow - 3
[Black-capped Chickadee - 1 recaptured]
Tufted Titmouse - 1
House Wren - 1
Veery - 2
American Robin - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Yellow Warbler - 13 (plus 4 recaptured and 2 released unbanded)
[Common Yellowthroat - 1 recaptured]
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 4
White-throated Sparrow - 2
Northern Cardinal - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 3 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1
American Goldfinch - 1 (plus 5 recaptured)

SATURDAY, May 11, 2013
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:15
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:15
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:45
Hours Open: 7.50
No. of Nets: 4.75-13.75
Net Hours: 97.125
Temperature (F): 43-61
Cloud Cover: 100-50%
Wind: WNW-S @ 1-3-12 mph
Barometer: 30.21-30.13
Precipitation: Trace rain in a.m.
No. Banded: 53 (plus 23 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 20
Capture Rate: 81.3 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 10.5 hours, 5:00-15:30): Chris Charlebois (1.0 hr), Jacob Charlebois, Dave Lancaster (3.5 hrs), Scott Nottmeier.

[Downy Woodpecker - 1 recaptured]
Northern Flicker - 1
American Robin - 3 (plus 2 recaptured)
Gray Catbird - 1
Cedar Waxwing - 1
Nashville Warbler - 1
Yellow Warbler - 5 (plus 8 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Magnolia Warbler - 1 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 4
Black-throated Green Warbler - 1
Ovenbird - 3
Northern Waterthrush - 3
Common Yellowthroat - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
Song Sparrow - 3 (plus 2 recaptured)
Lincoln's Sparrow - 2
Swamp Sparrow - 3
Indigo Bunting - 1
Red-winged Blackbird - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 3
American Goldfinch - 12 (plus 6 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)

MONDAY, May 13, 2013
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:13
Time Open (E.S.T.): 5:45
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 13:15
Hours Open: 7.50
No. of Nets: 4.75-13.75
Net Hours: 96.125
Temperature (F): 32-52
Cloud Cover: 10-80%
Wind: W-WNW @ 3-5-10 mph
Barometer: 30.43-30.51
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 59 (plus 24 recaptured)
No. of Species: 28
Capture Rate: 86.3 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 9.5 hours, 5:00-14:30): Tom Schlack, Ai Wen, Blanche Wicke (6.25 hrs).

Downy Woodpecker - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Least Flycatcher - 1
Tree Swallow - 2
Carolina Wren - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
Veery - 2
Hermit Thrush - 1
[American Robin - 1 recaptured]
Gray Catbird - 3
European Starling - 1
Yellow Warbler - 3 (plus 4 recaptured)
Magnolia Warbler - 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
Palm Warbler - 1
Black-and-white Warbler - 4
Ovenbird - 2
Northern Waterthrush - 1
Common Yellowthroat - 7 (plus 2 recaptured)
[Song Sparrow - 5 recaptured]
Lincoln's Sparrow - 4 (plus 1 recaptured)
Swamp Sparrow - 2
White-throated Sparrow - 4
[Northern Cardinal - 1 recaptured]
Red-winged Blackbird - 1
Rusty Blackbird - 1
Common Grackle - 3 (plus 2 recaptured)
Brown-headed Cowbird - 1
Baltimore Oriole - 2 (plus 1 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 8 (plus 5 recaptured)

SATURDAY, May 18, 2013
Sunrise (E.S.T.): 5:08
Time Open (E.S.T.): 6:00
Time Closed (E.S.T.): 14:30
Hours Open: 8.50
No. of Nets: 4.75-13.75
Net Hours: 98.875
Temperature (F): 55-79
Cloud Cover: 100-10%
Wind: NNE @ 3-5-10 mph
Barometer: 29.51-29.46
Precipitation: None
No. Banded: 121 (plus 15 recaptured and 3 released unbanded)
No. of Species: 31
Capture Rate: 145.0 birds per 100 net hours
Volunteers (worked 11.5 hours, 5:00-16:30): Scott Nottmeier (2.0 hrs), Joan Tisdale (1.0 hrs), Ai Wen, Blanche Wicke.

Red-bellied Woodpecker - 1
Downy Woodpecker - 1 (plus 3 recaptured)
Eastern Wood-Pewee - 1 (plus 1 recaptured)
Blue Jay - 1
Veery - 5
Gray-cheeked Thrush - 1
American Robin - 1 (plus 2 recaptured)
Gray Catbird - 4 (plus 1 released unbanded)
European Starling - 3
Golden-winged Warbler - 1
Yellow Warbler - 10 (plus 3 recaptured)
Chestnut-sided Warbler - 4
Magnolia Warbler - 14 (plus 1 released unbanded)
Yellow-rumped Warbler - 5
Black-and-white Warbler - 2
American Redstart - 14
Ovenbird - 5
Northern Waterthrush - 5
Common Yellowthroat - 16 (plus 2 recaptured and 1 released unbanded)
Wilson's Warbler - 2
Canada Warbler - 1
Scarlet Tanager - 1
Song Sparrow - 1 (plus 3 recaptured)
[Lincoln's Sparrow - 1 recaptured]
Swamp Sparrow - 6 (plus 1 recaptured)
White-throated Sparrow - 2
Red-winged Blackbird - 3 (plus 1 recaptured)
Common Grackle - 2
Baltimore Oriole - 2 (plus 3 recaptured)
American Goldfinch - 6 (plus 2 recaptured)
House Sparrow - 1