Saturday, October 12, 2013

Swampy but not Swamped

Our days are busiest during the first couple hours after breaking light as the birds are starting their day on the island or settling in from a long night of migrating. It's during these times that solid teamwork, akin to the workings of a well oiled machine, are particularly important. Though not our heaviest day, we handled the daily predicted inundation of birds with ease.

We banded 107 new birds today and had one new notable first of season, the Swamp Sparrow. Swampy's, as some affectionately call them, are winter visitors here. Swampy's inhabit various types of wetlands and can be found amongst the low vegetation in Kiawah's tidal marshes. Their preference for often unnavigable habitats, cryptic coloration, and diet of mostly aquatic invertebrates often means that they are missed by most observers. One sure fire way to find this stealthy bird is to listen for its beautiful melodic call. Have you heard the Swampy's settling in for the coming winter yet?

- Claire

SWSP (AHY; unknown sex)

2 Red-eyed Vireo
2 House Wren
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
2 Gray-cheeked Thrush
27 Gray Catbird
1 Nashville Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
6 Black-throated Blue Warbler
2 Palm Warbler (Western)
1 Prairie Warbler
1 Black-and-White Warbler
11 American Redstart
41 Common Yellowthroat
1 Northern Waterthrush
3 Indigo Bunting
4 Painted Bunting
1 Swamp Sparrow

2 Common Ground-Dove
1 Red-eyed Vireo
10 Gray Catbird
1 Common Yellowthroat
2 Painted Bunting

# of Birds Banded:  107
# of Recaptures:  16
# of Species:  18
Effort:  99.5 net-hours
Capture Rate:  123.6 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  20

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