Finally, after 6 straight days of blustery conditions, the winds subsided and we were able to open all of the nets! We had a really good day with 62 new birds and 30 recaptures of 14 different species. After hearing and seeing American Goldfinches flying around KIBS for the past couple of weeks, we finally netted 5 of them this morning - the first for the 2012 fall season. Another first of the season was a Savannah Sparrow (recapture) . This individual was banded last week during a marsh sparrow banding effort at KIBS but was not included in the fall totals because it was not captured in one of our regular nets during passive trapping. Today it was captured in one of our fall migration nets and has officially become data for the 2012 fall banding season. Lastly, we banded 2 Chipping Sparrows which, despite being a fairly common winter bird, we have never banded before today. Other highlights included a Sharp-shinned Hawk (7th of the season), and a Worthington's Marsh Wren. The Worthington's Marsh Wren is a subspecies of Marsh Wren that is resident on the coast of South Carolina and Georgia. It lacks the brightly colored markings of its migratory cousin (the Eastern Marsh Wren) and is also noticeably smaller in the hand.
We also had 5 more returning Yellow-rumped Warblers: original banding dates - 11/18/09, 11/11/11, 11/13/11, 11/25/11 (2).
|Chipping Sparrow (after hatch-year, sex unknown)|
|Savannah Sparrow (hatch-year, sex unknown)|
|Song Sparrow (hatch-year, sex unknown)|
|Swamp Sparrow (hatch-year, sex unknown)|
|White-throated Sparrow (hatch-year, sex unknown)|
From the 5 American Goldfinches banded today, we had representatives of all 4 age/sex classes: After hatch-year male, after-hatch year female, hatch-year male, and hatch-year female. You can see the subtle difference in plumage color for each age/sex class below.
|American Goldfinch (after-hatch year, male)|
|American Goldfinch (after hatch-year, female)|
|American Goldfinch (hatch-year, male)|
|American Goldfinch (hatch-year, female)|