Thursday, July 09, 2009

Upland Bird Banding

The last two bird banding Mondays at Audubon's Francis Beidler Forest have provided some surprises at the mist net sites along the fire lines in the upland pine/hardwood.

Here is Jeff Mollenhauer's, director of bird conservation, report from June 29th:

We had an absolutely fabulous day banding on Monday at the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest. Probably our best day ever!

In the first check of the nets, we caught four birds: an unbanded after-second-year (ASY) male Prothonotary Warbler (hooray!), a Swainson’s Warbler that we banded last year (hooray!), and two Carolina Wrens that we banded last year (hooray!). We caught more birds than ever before…16 birds total! We also caught a very unexpected bird…a Louisiana Waterthrush. Probably an early migrant, since based on the point counts that we did last year, we don’t think that we have any breeding in Four Holes Swamp. Having not caught a single Hooded Warbler, it came as a surprise to catch three in one day (2 males, 1 female). We only had one net run that came up with no birds and we spent very little time sitting down.

Total numbers are as follows:

Prothonotary Warbler – 1

Hooded Warbler – 3

White-eyed Vireo – 2

Acadian Flycatcher – 1

Kentucky Warbler – 1

Swainson’s Warbler – 2

Louisiana Waterthrush – 1

Carolina Wren – 4

Northern Cardinal – 1

Last Monday (July 6th), was another record banding day. While no Prothonotary Warblers were captured, several banded individuals were spotted out of the swamp...some with their fledglings. Additionally, an entire family (five) of White-eyed Vireos were captured in one net. In another net, three young Wood Thrushes snared themselves. Their presence suggests that their parents nested nearby, though the Beidler Forest staff has not reported hearing a Wood Thrush singing near the center for many years.

Images by Mark Musselman

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