It seems the big wave of migrants is over . . . for now. We captured 31 new birds and had 20 recaptures of 12 different species. The Bird-of-the-Day was a bird that I didn't even know about until I got home and looked at the data sheets. It was a Gray Catbird!!! Why am I so excited about a Gray Catbird, a species that we have already banded 277 individuals? Well, this particular Gray Catbird was originally banded on 01/28/11 during our 2010-2011 winter banding season! And it seems that this birds has sort of a history at KIBS being recaptured 6 more times between its original banding date and today: 02/17/11, 04/03/11, 04/13/11, 11/12/11, 02/04/12, 02/15/12. This bird has returned to KIBS 3 years in a row after breeding in places farther north. It will be interesting to see how many more times we capture this bird as the fall season progresses and if it will stay to spend its 3rd winter at KIBS.
|Black-and-White Warbler (hatch-year, female)|
Another trick I learned at the Powdermill Avian Research Center is one used to age Black-and-White Warblers. In addition to the usual molt limit within the alulas, we can look at the amount of white on A2. On hatch-years (juveniles), the black center of the feather will extend all the way to the tip showing two white spots on each side. However, if the the white wraps around the entire tip of the feather, it will be an after hatch-year (adult).
|Black-and-White Warbler (molt limit within the alula feathers)|