Saturday, October 5, 2013

FOS: Summer Tanager & Blue-headed Vireo

We banded 30 new birds and had 14 recaptures of 16 different species.  Despite the low numbers of birds around, we had two first-of-the-seasons:  Blue-headed Vireo and Summer Tanager!

This Blue-headed Vireo was aged as a hatch-year (HY) by the presence of a molt limit within the alulas feathers (see 2nd photo below).  The replaced A1 is much darker compared to the unreplaced A2 and A3 feathers.  Outside of the breeding season Blue-headed Vireo cannot be separated based on sex. 

Blue-headed Vireo (HY, sex unknown)

Blue-headed Vireo (HY, sex unknown)

The Summer Tanager was aged as a (HY) also based on a molt limit in the within the alulas feathers.  Sexing HY Summer Tanagers this time of year can be difficult when there are no orange/red feather present.  There are couple clues present in the photo that may lean the id towards male (note the orange wash in the cheek and the orange under tail coverts).  Additionally, there appears to be a slight orangish tint to the edge of the median coverts.  Those characteristics probably are not enough to confidently sex this bird as a male.  We don't band that many Summer Tanagers so we don't have a great deal of experience with them.     


Summer Tanager (HY, sex unknown)
1 Common Ground-Dove
1 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Blue-headed Vireo
4 House Wren
3 Gray Catbird
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
1 Prairie Warbler
4 Palm Warbler (Western)
11 Common Yellowthroat
1 Summer Tanager
1 Painted Bunting
1 Northern Cardinal

1 Downy Woodpecker
3 White-eyed Vireo
2 Carolina Chickadee
5 Gray Catbird
1 Painted Bunting
1 Northern Cardinal

# of Birds Banded:  30
# of Recaptures:  14
# of Species:  16
Effort:  97.3 net-hours
Capture Rate:  45.2 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  20

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