Thursday, August 13, 2020

The 2020 Fall Migration Banding Season Begins on August 15th.

This year marks the 12th consecutive year that we have been banding on Kiawah Island during the fall.  We manage two banding sites concurrently throughout the fall season:  the Captain Sam's (CS) site which is located on the western end of the island and the Little Bear (LB) site which is location on the eastern end of the island.  The Little Bear site is in its 6 year of operation.  Across both sites, we have banded 54,732 birds and have had 12,930 recaptures of over 130 species. 

The 2020 fall migration banding season will begin on Saturday.  I have been working hard over the last two weeks to get all 49 (29 at CS, 20 at LB) nets lanes cleared.  A majority of this work is done by hand with a hand saw and a machete. When it's 90 degrees with 90% humidity, I am only able to work for a couple hours at a time.  Fortunately, I was able to prep all of the net lanes at both sites without succumbing to heat exhaustion.  The nets are up at CS but not at LB yet.  Some of the banding assistants arrive on August 22nd and I will enlist their help to finish up LB.  

I am happy to have Josh, Kristin, and Dan returning this year.  Josh will be running the LB site like he did last year.  Kristin will be floating back and forth between CS and LB, and because she is a subpermittee on my banding permit, she will be able to run either site on days when myself or Josh are not working.  I'd like to welcome, Sarah, Sarah, and Vince as new banding assistants this year.  I have not updated the "Banding Staff" page yet but please check it out in the near future to learn more about this year's banding team. 

This year's banding will be a little different as we follow protocols and guidelines related to COVID-19.  One of the more difficult changes this year is that we will not be allowing visitors, volunteers, or educational groups to come out to the banding site.  We rely on volunteers especially on busy days when we need and extra hand or two to help extract birds or scribe data.  We don't host many groups but we have a few that come out each year, and will surely miss those day teaching people about the birds and the work that we are doing.     

I am looking forward to another successful banding season!


Net #7

Net #6