Thursday, October 08, 2009

Kiawah Island Naturalist Group

Due to Monday's rain, a naturalist group from Kiawah Island got a bonus during their visit to the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest...bird banding! The mist nets were to be taken down on Monday, but we could not do any banding in the rain and did not want the nets to go into storage wet.

Before taking the tour through the old-growth, cypress-tupelo swamp along the 1.75-mile boardwalk, the group met Jeff Mollenhauer, director of bird conservation for Audubon South Carolina, at the bird banding station near the maintenance shed. The mist nets were set along the fire line which separates the sanctuary from land logged prior to purchase by Audubon SC. In the last decade, the land has grown into a dense mixture of young trees and shrubs that attracts a variety of birds on migration, including Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria citrea) that we banded near the boardwalk this season as part of Project PROTHO.

The birds banded today included:

Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas)

Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus)

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapillus) - note the orange crown; this individual also had considerable fat in place for its migration.

Images by Mark Musselman

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