Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"American Robin, Listen What I Say, Hey"

Strong northeast winds forced us to close down the nets a little after 9:00am but not before banding 7 new birds and recapturing 2 others of 6 different species. 

Today was Mattie's last day at the Kiawah Island Banding Station.  I would like to thank her for making this a very successful season (and for staying a few extra days to help me out).  She and her expertise will be surely be missed.  I learned a lot from her this season and the contributions that she made during her time at KIBS will not be forgotten.  I wish her all of the luck in the future!

Mattie measuring the wind chord of a Yellow-rumped Warbler

I will be flying solo (unless I get any volunteers) for the last 11 days of the season.  I set a goal at the beginning of  the season to band 5,000 birds this fall.  With 11 days left, I need to average 52 birds a day to get there.  It's going to be a tall order to fill (especially since tomorrow is going to another windy day) but I think it's attainable, if (and only if) we get another strong push of Yellow-rumped Warblers.  If the yellow-rumps don't show up, then I'm toast.    

The following sentence is one that I will probably never type again when writing about KIBS.  The most common species banded today was the American Robin.  Four were captured during the first net round representing all of the age/sex classes except a hatch year/female.  

American Robin (AHY, M)

The photo below shows a good comparison between an adult male and an adult female American Robin.  The male (left) has a blackish head with a bright orange breast with very little pale edging.  In contrast, the female (right) has a brownish head and a pale orange breast with extensive pale edging.  Not shown in the photo, but males will also have a blackish tail compared to the duller/brownish tail of females.       

American Robin -  AHY, M (left); AHY, F (right)

The next photo compares a hatch-year male (left) with the same adult male (right) from above.  Notice that both of these have blackish heads but the hatch-year bird has much more extensive pale edging in its breast feathers.  In addition to the edging on the breast, there was a molt limit within the greater coverts of the hatch-year bird which is what we used to initially age that individual. 

American Robin - HY, M (left); AHY, M (right)
 - Aaron

1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4 American Robin
1 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)
1 Song Sparrow

1 Sharp-shinned Hawk (the same old guy from yesterday)
1 Northern Cardinal

# of Birds Banded:  7
# of Recaptures:  2
# of Species:  6
Effort:  41.75 net-hours
Capture Rate:  21.6 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  18 (6 others closed down early)  

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