We had a great day of banding with 99 new birds and 2 recaptures of 14 different species! I wasn't really expecting to catch as many birds as we did today. We have had north winds all week but after Monday's 227 bird day, activity seemed to fall off substantially. I think it had to do with the windier conditions we experienced from Tuesday - Friday and the birds were able to see the nets moving and avoid them. The wind was calm today with only a light breeze and most of the nets hung motionless.
I finally got around to updating the Banding Staff page. Please, take a few minutes to meet the banders!
No surprise - Common Yellowthroats were the most abundant species again with 78 banded. We also banded our first Gray Catbird of the year. Catbirds are one of the most commonly banded species at KIBS, so look for their numbers to increase substantially over the next several weeks. The Bird-of-the-Day was an adult male CAPE MAY WARBLER - first of the fall season. We don't band many Cape May Warblers at KIBS, so it was a real treat to band an adult male!
|Cape May Warbler (after hatch-year, male)|
Black-throated Blue Warblers (BTBW) are fairly common at KIBS. The males are a stunning blue with accents of black and white while the females are more subdued like in the photo below. Ageing females is fairly straight forward and follows the A1/A2 molt limit pattern (as described in the 21 August 2012 post). A supporting ageing characteristic to look at on female BTBW is the size of the white wing patch. Adults females will usually have a larger white wing patch than juveniles (After hatch-year > 6.0mm, hatch-year < 6.0mm).
|Black-throated Blue Warbler (hatch-year, female)|
Baltimore Orioles are not banded regularly at KIBS. This bird had obvious fault bars in the tail which can be a useful tool for ageing. Fault bars usually occur when the nutritional demand for growing feathers is not met during harsh conditions and the bird cannot feed or is not being fed (in the case of nestlings). Fault bars are most obvious in the tail because, in juveniles (hatch-years) the tail feathers are grown in very quickly and all at the same time. As a result, fault bar will appear in somewhat of a straight line across the tail or at equal distances from the tip of the feather.
|Baltimore Oriole (hatch-year, female)|
|Baltimore Oriole (note fault bars on the tail)|