The air was warm and muggy to start off the month of September. By the end of the morning is was downright hot! However, we still managed to band 19 new birds with 3 recaptures of 11 different species. It was a good day for Painted Buntings with 5 banded but the Bird-of-the-Day goes to the LOUISIANA WATERTHRUSH. This is the 1st ever banding record for that species at KIBS! In fact, this is the first Louisiana Waterthrush that I have ever seen on Kiawah Island in the 4 years that I have been working here. This record is also special because most individuals of this species have probably already migrated through the United States. Louisiana Waterthushes are one of the first warblers to arrive in the spring and also one of the first to leave in the fall with a majority of the population moving through in July and early August. By late August, most of them are gone.
Louisiana Waterthrushes are very similar to their closely related cousin, the Northern Waterthrush. There are a few characteristics to look at when distinguishing the two species:
1. The eye-stripe on Louisiana Waterthrush is white and broad compared
to the narrower, buffy-yellow eye-stripe on the Northern Waterthrush.
2. The throat of the Northern Waterthrush is usually marked with blackish
streaks whereas the Louisiana Waterthrush's throat is unmarked.
3. Louisiana Waterthrush averages larger than Northern Waterthrush.
There is very little overlap in the bill length of the largest Northern
and the smallest Louisiana.
|Northern Waterthrush (left), Louisiana Waterthrush (right)|
Another first today was a Brown-headed Nuthatch hanging around in the pine tree above the banding table. Although we did not catch this bird, it is the first time I have ever seen one at KIBS. They are, however, fairly common on the main part of Kiawah Island.