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)

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)

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)

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