Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2013 Fall Migration Banding Results

The 2013 fall migration banding station at the Kiawah Island Banding Station is in the books!  Nets were opened for a total of 98 days (out of a possible 108) from August 15 - November 30th.  The last two weeks of November were extremely windy and 7 days were lost during that time.  The other three days were lost due to bad weather during the first week of the season giving us a stretch of 82 consecutive days of banding in between. 

We banded 4,529 new birds and had 1139 recaptures of 82 different species.  The most commonly banded species were Common Yellowthroats (1,146), Yellow-rumped Warblers (1, 054), and Gray Catbirds (572).  Those three species combined made up 61% of all the bird banded this season!

We banded 9 species never before banded at KIBS:  Eastern Whip-poor-will, Willow Flycatcher, Alder Flycatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Bay-breasted Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Grasshopper Sparrow, Orchard Oriole, and Bobolink.

We increased our effort from 7,220.6 net-hours in 2012 to 9,584.2 net-hours this year.  This increase was due solely to the addition of 3 new nets as we banded exact number of days as we did last fall. 

We also had lots of recaptures from birds that were banded in previous seasons.  It will take a while to sort through all those records to determine how many unique returns we actually had as some of those were undoubtedly captured more than once during the fall. 

Compared to last fall, the number of new birds banded was way down.  There was a decrease in the capture rate from 65.2 birds/100 net-hours in 2012 to 47.3 birds/100 net-hours in 2013 - a net loss of 17.9 birds/100 net/hours.  Interestingly but not surprising, the capture rate of recaptures remained about the same (11.9 birds/100 net-hours in 2013 and 12.2 birds/100 net-hours in 2012).  Most species exhibited decreases in their capture, however there we a few exceptions that actually showed substantial increases.  These included White-eyed Vireos, Red-eyed Vireos, Northern Mockingbirds, and Painted Buntings.


The bird of the season has to go to the MacGillivray's Warbler that was banded on October 18th.  This individual represented a FIRST STATE RECORD for that species in South Carolina!     

The following is a photographic recap of the some of the highlights from this season:

Eastern Whip-poor-will

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

Ash-throated Flycatcher

Philadelphia Vireo

Bell's Vireo

Bay-breasted Warbler

MacGillivray's Warbler

Swainson's Warbler

Canada Warbler

Grasshopper Sparrow


*Numbers in parentheses indicate the # of recaptures

Sharp-shinned Hawk 6 (3)

Mourning Dove 3
Common Ground-Dove 21 (16)

Yellow-billed Cuckoo 5

Eastern Whip-poor-will 1

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 4
Downy Woodpecker 5 (10)

Eastern Wood-Pewee 2
Willow Flycatcher 1
Alder Flycatcher 1
"Traill's" Flycatcher 26 (3)
Least Flycatcher 1
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1
Acadian Flycatcher 3
Eastern Phoebe 30 (1)
Ash-throated Flycatcher 1 (1)
Great Crested Flycatcher 6
Eastern Kingbird 6

Philadelphia Vireo 1
White-eyed Vireo 66 (92)
Bell's Vireo 1
Red-eyed Vireo 175 (36)
Blue-headed Vireo 5

Blue Jay 3 (1)

Carolina Chickadee 10 (30)

Carolina Wren 8 (25)
House Wren 75 (29)

Golden-crowned Kinglet 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 81 (23)
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 2

Swainson's Thrush 18
Veery 12 (5)
Gray-cheeked Thrush 9
Hermit Thrush 28 (4)
Wood Thrush 1
American Robin 5

Gray Catbird 572 (306)
Northern Mockingbird 64 (35)
Brown Thrasher 9 (8)

Tennessee Warbler 2
Nashville Warbler 4 (1)
Orange-crowned Warbler 4
Northern Parula 16 (1)
Yellow Warbler 19
Chestnut-sided Warbler 3
Magnolia Warbler 4
Cape May Warbler 10
Black-throated Blue Warbler 90 (2)
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1054 (83)
Palm Warbler 106 - "Western" 103, "Yellow" 3
Prairie Warbler 129 (5)
Blackpoll Warbler 1
Bay-breasted Warbler 1
Black-and-white Warbler 17 (3)
American Redstart 117 (9)
Prothonotary Warbler 6
Worm-eating Warbler 5
Common Yellowthroat 1146 (59)
MacGillivray's Warbler 1
Kentucky Warbler 1
Ovenbird 12
Northern Waterthrush 48
Swainson's Warbler 1
Canada Warbler 1
Hooded Warbler 5
Wilson's Warbler 1 (2)
Yellow-breasted Chat 5 (1)

Scarlet Tanager 3
Summer Tanager 1
Blue Grosbeak 8
Indigo Bunting 64 (1)
Painted Bunting 198 (198) this is not a typo . . .
Northern Cardinal 43 (103)

Eastern Towhee 13 (14)
Chipping Sparrow 1
Grasshopper Sparrow 1
Song Sparrow 44 (8)
Swamp Sparrow 58 (13)
White-throated Sparrow 5 (8)

Baltimore Oriole 2
Orchard Oriole 1
Bobolink 1

House Finch 4

# of Birds Banded:  4529
#of Recaptures:  1139
# of Species:  82
Effort:  9584.2 net-hours
Capture Rate:   59.1 birds/100 net-hours
# of Days Banded:  98

I would like to thank all those that made this season such a great success: my banding assistants (Mattie VandenBoom, Claire Stuyck, Josh Lefever, and Vicki Morgan); the Kiawah Island Conservancy for providing funding for mist nets, banding equipment, and the hiring of 3 banding assistants; the Town of Kiawah Island for allowing me to take on an extremely time consuming project; Kiawah Development Partners for allowing access to their property; and finally to all the volunteers that donated their time to either come out and help or just to observe.      



  1. Thank you, Aaron and your assistants, for sharing your expertise and this entire season with us via the blog! I read it every morning. I wish I had been able to come out more to help and observe. Congratulations on an accomplished season of banding!

  2. Aaron, I echo Cathy's sentiments..........your blog is an ornithological treasure! I look forward to reading it daily and learning from it! Congrats on a great season to you and your banding team!

  3. in indonesia its name a pleci bird or sunglasses bird hehehe, i farm this bird

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  6. I love Kiawah Island. I went there when I as a kid when we were visiting South Carolina. It is such a fun reserve to go visit. I remember there was always some type of wild life out and about. It was so much fun. It'd give anything to go back with my own children someday.
    Dolores Brown | http://www.enjoyspi.com/activities/