Saturday, October 31, 2015

August-October Update

With only a month left in the 2015 banding season, I figured it was a good time for another full season update.  Between the two banding sites, we have banded almost 6000 birds with over 1050 recaptures of 83 different species.  At Captain Sam's, 4026 new birds have been banded with 747 recaptures of 77 species.  That site has operated for 71 days accruing 8879.9 net-hours, and netting a capture rate of 53.7 birds/100 net-hours.  At Little Bear, 1940 new birds have been banded with 318 recaptures of 64 species.  Little Bear has operated for 43 days accruing 2340.1 net-hours, and netting a capture rate of 99.7 birds/100 net-hours.

Top 10 Species Banded at Captain Sam's
1.  Common Yellowthroat (1264)
2.  Gray Catbird (778)
3.  American Redstart (241)
4.  Red-eyed Vireo (187)
5.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (172)
6.  Painted Bunting (144)
7.  Black-throated Blue Warbler (143)
8.  Prairie Warbler (137)
9.  Northern Waterthrush (101)
10.  Palm Warbler (76)

Top 10 Species Banded at Little Bear
1.  Gray Catbird (401)
2.  Common Yellowthroat (392)
3.  Yellow-rumped Warbler (200)
4.  Painted Bunting (69)
5.  Red-eyed Vireo (68)
6. American Redstart (67)
7.  Northern Cardinal (63)
8. Palm Warbler (53)
9. Prairie Warbler (43)
10.  Northern Waterthrush (39)    

Captain Sam's
We had another good day of banding at the Spit with 104 new birds and 27 recaptures of 20 different species.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets made a strong showing with 13 of them banded.  We have also had a little surge of Painted Buntings the last few days and banded 7 of them today.  Yellow-rumped Warblers made up the bulk of the new birds with 44.  Yellow-rumps will dominate the nets for the rest of the season.
-Aaron

Little Bear
The recent cold front from Friday continues to produce interesting birds. A total of 93 new birds and 9 recaptures gave a total of 102 birds caught of 15 species.

Bird of the morning had to be the adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk. The recent predominance of Gray Catbirds at the site appears to be decreasing with the increase of Yellow-rumped Warblers during this past front. The American Redstart was a late surprise as the previous Redstart banded was on 19th October. Painted Buntings are still coming through  the site with 8 birds caught today. Although these birds breed here, some also overwinter and today's birds are probably just passing through and only time will tell if they stay.

Wintering birds are now increasing in numbers with Yellow-rumped Warblers, Sharp-shinned  Hawk, Song and Swamp Sparrows all increasing at the moment. Once the temperature has a more permanent decrease, as opposed to the temporary drops of the cold fronts, these species should dominate the catch in the coming weeks.

- Chris

Adult male Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo by Michael Gamble)



  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Sharp-shinned Hawk - - 1 -
Eastern Phoebe - - 2 -
House Wren 1 - 2 -
Carolina Wren - 1 - -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 13 - 4 -
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher - - 1 -
Gray Catbird
15 15 9 7
Northern Mockingbird - 1 - -
Magnolia Warbler - - - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 - 1 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 44 - 47 -
Palm Warbler (Western) - - 1 -
American Redstart - - 1 -
Northern Parula 2 - - -
Common Yellowthroat 4 - 3 -
Prairie Warbler - 1 - -
Song Sparrow 3 1 5 -
Swamp Sparrow 5 1 8 1
Northern Cardinal 1 4 - -
Painted Bunting 7 - 8 -
Indigo Bunting 1 - - -
White-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
Blue-headed Vireo 2 - - -
Carolina Chickadee 1 - - -
Hermit Thrush 2 1 - -
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 - - -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 104 93 197
# of Recaptures 27 9 36
# of Species 20 15 26
Effort (net-hours) 145.0 84.0 229.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 90.3 121.4 101.7
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (LB)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Friday, October 30, 2015

Day of Rarities!

Captain Sam's

Today was quite the interesting day at Captain Sam's, along with getting 4 first of season birds for our site, we also had several interesting recaptures! This morning we pulled in 109 new birds, and 22 recaptures for a total of 21 species. Four of those were new for our site for the year, Orange-crowned Warbler, Bay-breasted Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, and a Chipping Sparrow. With the exclusion of the Orange-crowned Warbler these birds are very uncommon captures for our site, with one individual showing up maybe every one to two years. 

In addition to all our exciting new birds we had several old recaptures from years past. Although none were foreign recaptures it is still nice to see birds coming back to the same spots year after year. We had three birds that were banded last year, a Hermit Thrush, a Swamp Sparrow, and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. We had a recaptured Carolina Chickadee that was banded originally in 2013, although he has come back to check on us 15 times since then! Lastly we had a Yellow-rumped Warbler that was banded back in 2011! That means he has made the trip up north and back at least four times, and he's still going strong!

-Sean
HY Male Bay-breasted Warbler

HY Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

HY Chipping Sparrow

Little Bear

We had a really good day today out at Little Bear with 80 new birds and 15 recaptures of 21 different species. There was a lot of variety in species and the site got its first-of-the season Hermit Thrush! I was waiting to catch this species and see it in the hand, since I have only seen them a couple times in the field. Yellow-rumped Warblers and Gray Catbirds tied for the most birds of the day with 21, and this pattern should continue throughout the week. We also caught a beautiful Magnolia Warbler, which was surprising to see this late in the season. It was nice to have so many birds and great variety after not being able to band the last couple days due to rain. Hopefully tomorrow turns out even better!

-Michael 

Magnolia Warbler (hatch-year, male)

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 - - -
Eastern Phoebe 1 - 2 -
White-eyed Vireo - 1 - 1
Red-eyed Vireo - - 2 -
Carolina Chickadee 1 3 - 1
Carolina Wren - - - 1
House Wren 1 - - -
Marsh Wren - - 1 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7 - 4 -
Swainson's Thrush - - 2 -
Hermit Thrush 10 1 9 -
Gray Catbird 6 11 14 7
Orange-crowned Warbler 2 - 2 -
Magnolia Warbler - - 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 3 1 5 1
Northern Parula 1 - - -
Bay-breasted Warbler 1 - - -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 2 - 2 -
Palm Warbler (Western) 3 - 2 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 50 2 21 -
Chipping Sparrow 1 - - -
Song Sparrow 5 - 2 1
Swamp Sparrow 6 1 8 1
Northern Cardinal 2 - - 1
Indigo Bunting - - 1 -
Painted Bunting 5 - 3 -
House Finch 1 - - -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 109 81 190
# of Recaptures 20 14 34
# of Species 21 21 27
Effort (net-hours) 145.75 98.7 244.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 89.0 97.2 91.6
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (LB)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

10/29/15

Captain Sam's
Well, it was not as good as I was hoping but we banded 34 new birds and had 12 recaptures of 13 different species.   It was nice to still see some neotropical warblers moving through such as Northern Waterthrush, Northern Parula, and Cape May Warbler.  

Little Bear 
Although the rain has cleared away, our return to Little Bear was still pretty wet, with 11 of our 16 net lanes flooded.  The birds did not seem to mind the flooding, as we ended up having a good morning with 62 new birds and 10 recaptures, comprised of 17 species.  Highlights included not one but two more Yellow-billed Cuckoos which brings our season total up to 9.  We also banded our fifth Orange-crowned Warbler of the season.  

-Mattie


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Yellow-billed Cuckoo - - 2 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee
Eastern Phoebe
1
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
Carolina Chickadee - - - 1
House Wren 1 - - 2
Marsh Wren - - 1 -
Carolina Wren - 1 - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 - - -
Hermit Thrush 1 - - -
Gray Catbird 16 10 26 2
Northern Waterthrush 1 - - -
Orange-crowned Warbler
Northern Parula
-
1
-
-
1
-
-
-
Common Yellowthroat - - 3 1
Cape May Warbler 1 - - -
Black-throated Blue Warbler - - 1 -
Palm Warbler (Western) - - 1 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 8 - 16 1
Prairie Warbler - - 2 -
Song Sparrow - - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow 1 - 1 -
Northern Cardinal 1 1 1 1
Indigo Bunting - - 1 -
Painted Bunting 1 - 3 -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 34 62 96
# of Recaptures 12 9 22
# of Species 13 17 24
Effort (net-hours) 131.25 80.0 211.25
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 35.1 88.75 55.9
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (LB)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Rained Out Again

Rain and strong winds forced us to cancel banding again today.  The rain will be cleared out by morning and we should have clear skies for the next several days.

-Aaron

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

Arrival of a cold front

Captain Sam's
We had a slow morning at Captain Sam's today, while we didn't see the same wind conditions that Little Bear did we did see the return of high tides with the upcoming full moon. Despite the weather we managed to band 19 new birds and recaptured 12 of 9 species.

Gray Catbirds outnumbered the Yellow-rumpeds in the nets, but there were several small flocks hanging around and flying over the nets. We also had nice swallow movement later in the morning with a flock of several thousand Tree Swallows hanging around the banding site. Unfortunately, they didn't roost in a tree or get low enough for us to catch any. Our highlights of the day happened fairly late in the morning, a Wilson's Warbler and a Blue-headed Vireo. We've caught both of these species previously but not in high numbers, the Wilson's Warbler was our second of the season and the Blue-headed Vireo was our third. The Wilson's Warbler was a hatch year male so it was nice to see the start of his black cap coming in. This is later than expected for a Wilson's Warbler to come through so hopefully it means we still have a few surprises left before the end of the season.

Blue-headed Vireo (hatch year, unknown)

-Nancy


Little Bear
 The arrival of the cold front brought with it windier conditions than expected for safe trapping by mid-morning. So nets were closed, by 9 am, for a short morning's banding. This morning's spring tide, bolstered by the north-easterly winds, meant that some net lanes became flooded to about ankle deep.

Despite these conditions, 10 new birds and 8 recaptures were caught. The surprise birds of the day were a Seaside Sparrow and a Savannah Sparrow both of which were firsts for this site. Both are normally out on the dunes or in the salt-marsh and were probably forced into the catching area by this morning's high tide.

Now if the weather would just settle down...

- Chris

Savannah Sparrow (Hatch-year, sex unknown)
Seaside Sparrow (After-hatch-year, sex unknown)
Photos by Casey Weissburg

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Blue-headed Vireo 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee - - - 1
Carolina Wren - - - 1
Gray Catbird 9 7 2 4
Brown Thrasher - 1 - -
Wilson's Warbler 1 - - -
American Redstart 1 - - -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 6 1 2 -
Savannah Sparrow - - 1 -
Seaside Sparrow - - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow - 1 4 -
Painted Bunting 1 - - 1
Northern Cardinal - 1 - -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 19 10 29
# of Recaptures 11 7 18
# of Species 9 8 13
Effort (net-hours) 96.5 32.67 129.2
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 31.1 52.0 36.4
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Forecast: Heavy Myrtle Showers!!

Captain Sam's

The Yellow-rumped Warblers have started to arrive in higher numbers, and they should continue to dominate our bird numbers over the next few weeks. We were expecting this to happen any day now. We ended the day a little better than yesterday with 49 new birds and 14 recaptures of 11 species, with 32 of those birds being Yellow-rumped Warblers. We also caught 1 Swainson's Thrush, which we haven't seen in a few days and will probably be one of the last ones. It is pretty easy to age this species because hatch-years have buffy tips on the greater coverts where as after-hatch-years will be uniformly brown. The Swainson's Thrush we caught today represented a great example of this (below).

-Michael

Swainson's Thrush with buffy tipping (hatch-year, sex unknown)
Picture by Sean McElaney 

Little Bear

We've been talking about how we will soon have hundreds of Yellow-rumped Warblers arriving... Well, today at Little Bear, they arrived in force! Our banding totals were 95 new birds and 19 recaps of only 12 species total, with 71 of those newly banded birds being Yellow-rumped Warblers!! While this number is impressive, we know that we will capture many more than that in the coming weeks--maybe even starting tomorrow!

Bird activity in general was increased today, although much of the movement and flyovers we had were Yellow-rumped Warblers in many small flocks, several of which flew into our nets in frenzies. Gray Catbirds are still fairly prevalent, with new birds and recaptures almost tying again, and can be heard meowing from every direction all throughout the morning. We even captured two new Yellow-billed Cuckoos today, both hatch-year birds. The Yellow-rumps are definitely taking over though, as expected, and their preference for wax myrtles means we will very soon be inundated out here at Little Bear.

-Casey

Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler (AHY female)
Myrtle Yellow-rumped Warbler (AHY female)
Common Ground-dove (AHY male)
Photos by Casey Weissburg
  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
Common Ground-dove--1-
Yellow-billed Cuckoo--2-
White-eyed Vireo-1--
Carolina Chickadee1--2
House Wren--1-
Marsh Wren---1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher--1-
Ruby-crowned Kinglet11--
Swainson's Thrush1---
Gray Catbird1281412
Orange-crowned Warbler--1-
Common Yellowthroat--3-
Northern Parula-1--
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)32-711
Swamp Sparrow1--1
Eastern Towhee 1---
Northern Cardinal-212
Painted Bunting-1--


 Banding StatsCaptain Sam'sLittle BearTOTAL
# Birds Banded4995144
# of Recaptures141933
# of Species111217
Effort (net-hours)130.090.7220.7
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)48.5125.780.2
Nets251641

Banding Staff
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Yellow-rumps Are Coming, the Yellow-rumps Are Coming!

Captain Sam's

Our day at Captain Sam's was better than we have been doing for the past week but it still isn't quite as busy as we would like. Today we captured 44 new species and 8 recaptures for a total of 11 species. One interesting part of our day was what appears to be the transition of our most abundant capture. Today was the first day that we captured more Yellow-rumped Warblers than Catbirds. Although we will still catch plenty of Catbirds through the rest of the season, from here on out our most common bird will be Yellow-rumped Warblers. With a front arriving in the next few days we should be seeing plenty more coming our way.

-Sean

Little Bear

The radar showed really good migrant activity along the Atlantic coast last night with most of the movement north of the Carolinas.  Unfortunately, those birds either flew over us or never made it to us as we only banded 30 new birds along with 8 recaptures of 11 species.  The highlight of the day was a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  This is the second White-crowned banded this season with the first on banded at Captain Sam's last Saturday.  White-crowned Sparrows are not very common along the coast and only a handful have been captured at KIBS over the last 7 years.

-Aaron

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Downy Woodpecker - - - 1
Red-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
House Wren - 1 2 -
Marsh Wren - - 1 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 - 1 -
Gray Catbird 11 6 7 4
Common Yellowthroat 4 - 8 1
American Redstart 1 - - -
Northern Parula 2 - - -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 - - -
Palm Warbler (Western) - - 2 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 18 - 6 -
Swamp Sparrow 1 1 1 -
White-crowned Sparrow - - 1 -
Northern Cardinal - - 1 2
Painted Bunting 1 - - -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 44 30 74
# of Recaptures 8 8 16
# of Species 11 11 16
Effort (net-hours) 126.4 81.0 207.4
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 41.1 46.9 43.4
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Friday, October 23, 2015

Slow days between cold fronts

Captain Sam's
While today was busier than yesterday, we had another slow day at Captain Sam's today. we banded 26 new birds and recaptured 11 of 9 species.

The highlight of the morning came in the last net round as we were preparing to close, our second Blue-headed Vireo of the season. We also saw an increase in Yellow-rumped Warblers both caught and moving through the banding site. A sign of things to come as we soon expect them to overturn Gray Catbirds as our dominant species banded.

Blue-headed Vireo (after hatch year, sex unknown)

Blue-headed Vireo wing, you can see the colour of all the covert and flight feathers is uniform and the ends of the feathers are broad and have a shape similar to butter knives, as opposed to hatch year birds whose feathers have pointy ends and are shaped like steak knives. This is especially noticeable in this birds rects. (after-hatch year, sex unknown)



-Nancy

Little Bear
Another slow day in between cold fronts. Only 24 new birds and 14 recaptured birds made for a slow morning.

Highlight of the morning was another Orange-crowned Warbler, making it the third for the site this season. Yellow-rumped Warblers continue being caught at a steady rate to give a current total of 36 birds for the site this season. The site also continues to produce new Northern Cardinals - we're up to 63 birds since the 7th September.

Due to the slow pace we were able to pay more attention than usual to our surroundings. Some of the vegetation is showing the after effects of the recent flooding at the site. We noticed a number of large Glass Lizards and a couple of Black Racer snakes have reappeared in the area. Deer are also making a return to the area, as damage to our nets have shown. The recent increase in temperature and decrease in wind have allowed butterflies to be more prominent with Monarchs, Long-tailed Skippers, Gulf Fritillaries and Common Buckeyes in smaller numbers than in early September. In recent days Long-tailed Skippers and Common Buckeyes have been observed mating ready for next year's populations. In the now muddy footpaths a mud turtle was found enjoying the mud.

- Chris

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Eastern Phoebe
Blue-headed Vireo
-
1
1
-
-
-
-
-
Carolina Chickadee - - - 1
House Wren 2 1 - -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 2 - 1 -
Gray Catbird 11 8 9 7
Northern Waterthrush - - - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - - 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 2 1 1 1
American Redstart - - - 1
Palm Warbler (Western) - - 1 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 5 - 6 -
Prairie Warbler - - - 1
Song Sparrow 1 - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow 1 1 1 1
Northern Cardinal - - 1 1
Indigo Bunting 1 - - -
Painted Bunting - - 2 -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 26 24 50
# of Recaptures 12 14 26
# of Species 10 14 18
Effort (net-hours) 125.0 76.0 201.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 30.4 50.0 37.8
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

October 22, 2015

Captain Sam's 
As we expected, it was another slow day at Captain Sam’s today with only 15 new birds and 14 recaptures, comprised of 10 species.  We did a have an interesting recapture of a Northern Waterthrush today.  The waterthrush was originally banded on October 17 and at that time appeared to have no fat and only weighed in at 14.9g.  When the bird was recaptured this morning, it had put on plenty of fat and weighed in at 20.0g.  In its short stay at Captain Sam’s, its was able to increase its body weight by 34%, which is the equivalent of a 180lbs person putting on 61lbs in just 5 days.  The fat this waterthrush has put on will aid him on his journey south to either Central or South America.  

-Mattie        


Little Bear
We had another slow day out at Little Bear again, despite prevailing northeast winds. We captured 26 new birds and 18 recaptures of 15 species total. Highlights of the day included yet another new Common Ground-dove, and a new Orange-crowned Warbler, only the second of the season. Both of the Orange-crowned Warblers have been at Little Bear so far. This species is one of the few warbler species that is actually more common in the West than here in the East; in fact, they can be quite scarce here, except during migration or on the wintering grounds. We capture just a handful each season!

-Casey

Orange-crowned Warbler (hatch-year male)
Orange-crowned Warblers have a concealed crown of orange feathers that is hidden unless
lifted in display--or blown into view by us rude humans! (Hatch year male)
Photos by Casey Weissburg
  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Common Ground-Dove - - 1 -
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 - - -
Eastern Phoebe 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee - 1 - 2
Carolina Wren - - - 1
House Wren 1 - - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 - 1 -
Gray Catbird 6 8 9 8
Northern Waterthrush - 1 - 1
Orange-crowned Warbler - - 1 -
Common Yellowthroat - 1 3 -
American Redstart - - - 1
Palm Warbler (Western) 1 - - -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1 - 5 1
Eastern Towhee - - - 1
Song Sparrow - - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow - - 2 -
Northern Cardinal - 3 - -
Painted Bunting - - 3 1

- - - -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 15 26 41
# of Recaptures 14 18 32
# of Species 10 15 35
Effort (net-hours) 125.0 71.5 196.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 23.2 61.5 37.2
Nets 25 16 41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (LB)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Slow Down Continues...

CAPTAIN SAM'S/LITTLE BEAR
Despite north winds for the last three days, the radar has showed very little bird movement.  That has translated into very slow banding days lately.  We are not expecting things to pick up anytime soon but a cold front is expected at the end of next week.  There are still a lot of birds up north that have yet to make it down here.  We see this pattern every year around this time.  Most of the long-distance migrants (flycatchers, red-eyed vireos, most warblers, Swainson's Thrushes) have already moved through our area but many of the short-distance migrants (House Wrens, kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, Yellow-rumped Warblers, sparrows) are still working their way down to us.    

-Aaron


  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
White-eyed Vireo1---
Carolina Chickadee-112
Carolina Wren--12
House Wren212-
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1-1-
Gray Catbird7111617
Brown Thrasher--1-
Northern Mockingbird--11
Northern Waterthrush---1
Common Yellowthroat--11
American Redstart---1
Northern Parula1---
Palm Warbler (Western)1---
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1-7-
Swamp Sparrow3--2
Northern Cardinal--13
Painted Bunting--2-


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
17
34
51
# of Recaptures
13
30
43
# of Species
9
14
17
Effort (net-hours)
125.0
80.0
205.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
24.0
80.0
45.9
Nets
25
16
41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Another cold morning and another Chuck-wills-widow!

Captain Sam's
We had another cool morning in the 50s today, unfortunately as with the past couple of cold days it didn't bring in the birds as expected. Despite not getting the numbers we hoped for we managed to band 25 new individuals and recaptured 13 of 9 species. As we've been seeing the past couple of days Gray Catbirds dominated the catch and made up over half the overall birds processed. Though our species diversity wasn't very high we did see a nice selection of migrants, including a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Northern Parula, and Ruby-crowned Kinglets.

Our highlight of the day came in the very first net round and was a very big surprise for everyone, a Chuck-wills-widow! This is the second of the season for Captain Sam's, but it's a nocturnal bird you often don't get great looks at or find in your nets very often. For a lot of our banding crew this was their first oppurtunity to see a nightjar in the hand so everyone was very excited by the catch.

-Nancy


Chuck-wills-widow (hatch year, sex unknown)


Chuck-wills-widow (hatch year, sex unknown)


Little Bear
This morning started out great with a very busy first few net rounds, but as winds rose, bird movement slowed substantially. We ended the day early in blustering gusts, with 35 newly banded birds and 17 recaptures. Highlights of the day included yet another new Common Ground-dove, as well as a new Downy Woodpecker and another day of 7 new Yellow-rumped Warblers. Soon we will have more butterbutts than we know what to do with!

-Casey

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Common Ground-Dove - - 1 1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 - - -
Chuck-will's-widow 1 - - -
Downy Woodpecker - - 1 -
White-eyed Vireo - 1 1 -
Carolina Chickadee - - - 1
House Wren 2 - 3 -
Carolina Wren - - - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 1 - -
Gray Catbird 14 10 13 9
Northern Waterthrush - - - 2
Common Yellowthroat 4 1 3 -
Northern Parula 1 - - -
Palm Warbler (Western) - - 1 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) - - 7 -
Prairie Warbler - - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow 1 - 3 1
Northern Cardinal 1 - 1 -
Painted Bunting - - - 2


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 26 35 61
# of Recaptures 13 17 40
# of Species 9 15 19
Effort (net-hours) 122.3 65.5 187.8
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 31.9 79.4 53.8
Nets 25 15 40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (CS)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Monday, October 19, 2015

FOS: Sharp-shinned Hawk

Captain Sam's 

The weather conditions were about the same out at Captain Sam's today. The wind had died down a little bit but we still had to keep some nets closed. We had better results today with 34 new birds banded and 15 recaptures of 14 species. The highlight of the day was a first-of-the season Sharp-shinned Hawk! It ended up being a hatch-year male, which are smaller than females. We can actually hold male Sharp-shinned Hawks in the bander's grip because of their small size. It was an interesting bird to see in the hand and I look forward to catching more as they arrive for the winter!
-Michael 


Little Bear

With wind conditions improved from yesterday we were actually able to open all of our nets first thing this morning. As the morning wore on the wind picked up right to where it left off yesterday, but before that happened we were able to get some decent banding in. We captured 45 new birds and 4 recaptures for a total of 11 species. Our most common capture is still Gray Catbirds but the abundance of Yellow-rumped Warblers is definitely beginning to pick up. Although we only captured 7 today, their increased presence around the sight was apparent throughout the morning. 

-Sean

  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1---
Common-Ground Dove--11
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1---
White-eyed Vireo1---
Carolina Chickadee-3-1
House Wren112-
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1---
Gray Catbird148172
Northern Waterthrush1---
Common Yellowthroat615-
American Redstart1-3-
Palm Warbler (Western)--2-
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)--7-
Prairie Warbler--2-
Swamp Sparrow5-5-
Northern Cardinal -1--
Indigo Bunting1---
Painted Bunting111-


 Banding StatsCaptain Sam'sLittle BearTOTAL
# Birds Banded344579
# of Recaptures15419
# of Species141118
Effort (net-hours)117.057.75174.75
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)41.984.856.08
Nets231538

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Gusty Morning

Captain Sam's 
Well, the cold front has arrived bringing much cooler temperatures and a strong north wind into our area but sadly not the big push of birds we were hoping for.  The strong gusty winds prevented us from opening some of our nets and eventually forced us to close down all together.  In our wind shortened morning at Captain Sam’s, we managed to catch 22 new birds and 9 recaptures, comprised of 7 species.  Similar conditions are forecasted for tomorrow which will likely put a damper on which nets we are able to operate and the overall bird activity.    

- Mattie

Little Bear
The strong winds continued from yesterday. Little Bear has a more open habit than Captain Sam's making it more susceptible to Northerly winds. These constraints allowed us to open only 5 nets for just under 3 hours. Very few birds were seen or heard leading to a disappointingly low catch of 5 new birds and one recaptured bird of 4 species.

- Chris

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 - - -
Eastern Phoebe 2 - - -
Red-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
House Wren - - 1 -
Gray Catbird 7 9 3 -
Northern Waterthrush - - - 1
Common Yellowthroat 6 - - -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 - - -
Indigo Bunting 4 - - -
Painted Bunting - - 1 -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 22 5 27
# of Recaptures 9 1 10
# of Species 7 4 10
Effort (net-hours) 50.1 9.0 59.1
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 61.9 66.7 62.6
Nets 22 5 27

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Windy day before the cold front

Captain Sam's

Despite high winds keeping movement down today, we still caught 77 birds, although only 50 of them were new with 27 recaptures, of a total 19 species. That's 35% of our captures today as previously caught birds! Clearly conditions were not as good for migration last night as we thought. We are expecting the cold front this weekend to bring us quite a rush tomorrow and Monday; hopefully the winds will not get in our way or the birds'!

The highlight of today was definitely capturing a White-crowned Sparrow, not only a new species for the season but also only the third ever of this species caught at KIBS! We were lucky enough to capture it during the same net round as a Song Sparrow, so we could enjoy a nice comparison between these two larger sparrow species.

-Casey
White-crowned Sparrow (Hatch year, sex unknown)
White-crowned Sparrow vs. Song Sparrow, both hatch-year, sex unknown
Photos by Casey Weissburg

Little Bear

We had a blustery morning at Little Bear today. The strong winds meant we were unable to stay open for a full six hour banding session and had to close nets after about three and a half hours. Despite the conditions, we still managed to band 37 new individuals and recapture 8 of 8 species.

Our highlight at Little Bear today came in the very first net round and was a surprise for all of us considering they are uncommon on the coast and that the first of this species had only been banded at Kiawah a few days ago. The bird was a Lincoln's Sparrow! This is a first for the Little Bear site and the second Lincoln's to be banded at KIBS, after we had the first earlier in the week at Captain Sam's. Hopefully this is a sign of good things (and unusual birds) to come as the temperatures dip into the 50s tomorrow morning.

-Nancy

Lincoln's Sparrow (hatch year, sex unknown)



  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
White-eyed Vireo-1--
Carolina Chickadee-1-1
House Wren111-
Ruby-crowned Kinglet-1--
Gray Catbird1416187
Ovenbird1---
Northern Waterthrush-11-
Common Yellowthroat1437-
American Redstart11--
Black-throated Blue Warbler7---
Palm Warbler (Western)3-6-
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)3-3-
Prairie Warbler1---
Eastern Towhee1---
Song Sparrow1---
Lincoln's Sparrow--1-
Swamp Sparrow1---
White-crowned Sparrow1---
Northern Cardinal1--
Indigo Bunting1---
Painted Bunting-1--


 Banding StatsCaptain Sam'sLittle BearTOTAL
# Birds Banded503787
# of Recaptures27835
# of Species19820
Effort (net-hours)110.750.9161.6
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)69.688.575.5
Nets251540

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)

Friday, October 16, 2015

10/16/15

Captain Sam's
It's been a long day!  Forgive my laziness...

We banded 89 new birds along with 22 recaptures of 24 different species.

-Aaron

Little Bear
The early morning burst of activity trailed off by mid-morning but we still banded 93 new birds and recaptured 5 birds of 20 species. This is a time of transition as the tropical migrants catches begin tailing off and the wintering birds begin to arrive. Today we caught a mix of migrants and wintering birds coming through the site. Migrating birds we caught included Black-and-white, Palm, Black-throated Blue,Nashville Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and recaptured a Yellow Warbler. The wintering species that are passing through the site, but may stay, included Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Swamp Sparrow and Gray Catbirds.

The recaptured Yellow Warbler was originally banded on the 13th October and had put on 1.3g in weight as fat ready for its onward journey south. This represents a 13% increase in body weight in three days - equivalent to a 180lb person gaining 23lbs in three days.


Nashville Warbler (Hatch year, unknown)


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Common Ground-Dove - - 1 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 - - -
Red-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee 1 - - 1
House Wren 2 1 4 -
Carolina Wren - - 1 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4 - 2 -
Swainson's Thrush 1 - 1 -
Gray Catbird 43 15 49 3
Brown Thrasher 1 - - -
Northern Mockingbird 1 - - -
Northern Waterthrush 1 - 1 -
Nashville Warbler - - 1 -
Black and White Warbler - - 2 -
Common Yellowthroat 13 2 8 -
Hooded Warbler 1 - - -
American Redstart 3 1 5 -
Northern Parula 3 - - -
Magnolia Warbler 1 - - -
Yellow Warbler - - - 1
Black-throated Blue Warbler 1 - 1 -
Palm Warbler (Western) 1 - 3 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2 - 2 -
Yellow-breasted Chat 1 - - -
Swamp Sparrow 1 - 6 -
Eastern Towhee - 1 - -
Northern Cardinal 1 1 - -
Indigo Bunting 2 - 4 -
Painted Bunting 3 1 2 -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 89 94 183
# of Recaptures 22 5 27
# of Species 24 20 29
Effort (net-hours) 127.5 75 202.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 87.1 132.0 103.7
Nets 25 15 35

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (CS)
Casey Weissburg (LB)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

FOS: Mourning Dove and Orange-crowned Warbler

Captain Sam's
It was a great day at Captain Sam’s with 178 new birds and 16 recaptures, comprised of 28 species.  Mixed among the 27 other species today, we had our first of the season Mourning Dove.  Mourning Doves can be tricky to catch because they often bounce out of the nets and they have the ability to power themselves out of the pocket of the net.  This Mourning Dove was certainly not the first of its species to grace our nets but it was the first one we were able to get our hands on in time to band. 
Mourning Dove (hatch year, female) Photo by Casey Weissburg


Over the next few days, we should continue to see a good number of birds moving through.  Another cold front is forecasted to move through over the weekend, dropping the temperature into the low 60s.  So we may be instore for another big day.    

-Mattie

Little Bear

Today turned out to be a great day overall at Little Bear. Not only did we hit 100 new birds banded for the day, but we also had 5 first of season birds for the site. We had several Ruby-crowned Kinglets, a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, a Song Sparrow, an Eastern Phoebe, and a first for both sites an Orange-Crowned Warbler! We had very good species diversity, of our 100 new birds and 8 recaptures we had 21 species for the day. Although today we had relatively good diversity our real bread and butter all week has been Gray Catbirds. Every morning as we await our first net run the sound of distant meowing is really all we have been able to hear.

-Sean

Song Sparrow

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Mourning Dove 1 - - -
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1 - 1 -
Eastern Wood-Pewee 1 - - -
Eastern Phoebe 8 - 2 -
White-eyed Vireo 1 1 1 -
Red-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee - - 1 -
House Wren 3 1 - -
Marsh Wren - - 3 -
Carolina Wren - - - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 7 - 2 -
Swainson's Thrush 1 - 2 -
Gray Catbird 40 8 42 4
Northern Mockingbird 1 - 1 -
Worm-eating Warbler 1 - - -
Northern Waterthrush - 1 2 2
Black and White Warbler 1 - - -
Tennessee Warbler 2 - - -
Orange-crowned Warbler - - 1 -
Common Yellowthroat 60 2 15 -
American Redstart 4 - - -
Cape May Warbler 1 - - -
Northern Parula 3 1 1 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 16 - 2 -
Palm Warbler (Western) 8 - 6 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 1 - 3 -
Yellow-breasted Chat - - 1 -
Eastern Towhee 2 - - -
Song Sparrow 1 - 1 -
Swamp Sparrow 2 - 5 -
Northern Cardinal 1 2 3 1
Indigo Bunting 8 - 5 -
Painted Bunting 2 - - 2


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 178 100 278
# of Recaptures 16 10 26
# of Species 28 21 33
Effort (net-hours) 147.5 90.0 237.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 131.5 122.2 128.0
Nets 25 15 40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

First for the site Lincoln's Sparrow!!!

Captain Sam's 
We had another pretty good day out at Captain Sam's with 74 new birds and 24 recaptures of 17 species. Gray Catbirds made up most of the birds again while Common Yellowthroats came in second. We had two first-of-the season, and one of those was a first ever at KIBS! One of the first-of-the-season's was a Song Sparrow, which we will start to catch more of as they move in for the winter. The first ever banded for the site was a Lincoln's Sparrow! This species is uncommon and very difficult to find in the East so it was a surprise and very exciting to find it in one of our nets! This is also a great find for the state of South Carolina! We are looking forward to the cooler weather this weekend and the potential for good bird movement and high bird numbers.

Left: Lincoln's Sparrow (hatch-year, unknown sex). Right: Song Sparrow (hatch-year, unknown sex)
Photo by Casey Weissburg
Lincoln's vs. Song Sparrow: Sometimes Lincoln's and Song Sparrows can be misidentified since they look very similar. There are a few distinct features that can help with separating these two species when identifying them in the field. One is size. Lincoln's Sparrows are smaller than Song Sparrows. They also have more distinct, narrow streaks on the breast and a more distinct, buffy eye ring compared to Song Sparrows. Their belly is also white without streaks whereas Song Sparrows have some buffy streaking on the belly.

-Michael

Little Bear
Today at Little Bear things were slower when compared with our busy day yesterday, we banded 87 new individuals and recaptured 7 of 17 species. A few more birds weren't the only thing missed at Little Bear today, we had a beautiful, clear, windless day, which was great for our nets. Unfortunately no breeze meant nothing to help keep the bugs away and it got very buggy at the banding table. Despite the bugs we did get several nice birds in the nets, including a new species for this site - Yellow-rumped Warblers! Along with the Yellow-rumpeds we banded a nice variety of migrant and resident bird species, as expected the majority of the catch was made up of Gray Catbirds. Our highlight of the day had to be during one of the mid-morning net rounds when we caught 3 Common Ground Doves. All three were birds were after-hatch year males and were pretty much right next to each other in the net.

-Nancy

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Common Ground-Dove - - 3 -
Yellow-billed Cuckoo 1 - - -
White-eyed Vireo 2 1 - -
Carolina Chickadee - - 1 -
House Wren 2 - 2 -
Carolina Wren - - 1 -
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 - - -
Swainson's Thrush 4 - 4 -
Gray Catbird 28 17 44 5
Ovenbird - - 1 -
Northern Waterthrush - - 5 1
Common Yellowthroat 14 1 10 -
American Redstart 2 - 3 -
Northern Parula 1 - 2 -
Blackpoll Warbler 1 - - -
Palm Warbler (Western) 7 - 2 -
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) - - 2 -
Song Sparrow 1 - - -
Lincoln's Sparrow 1 - - -
Northern Cardinal 2 3 1 -
Indigo Bunting 5 - - -
Painted Bunting - 2 - 1


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 74 87 161
# of Recaptures 24 7 31
# of Species 17 17 22
Effort (net-hours) 130.0 75.0 205.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 75.4 125.3 93.7
Nets 25 15 40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Return to Little Bear

Captain Sam's
Despite the strong wind this morning, we had a fairly good day at Captain Sam’s with 73 new birds and 20 recaptures, consisting of 20 species.  More than half of the birds we handled today were captured during the first net run before the wind had really started to pick up.  The highlight of the morning was our first-of-the-season Savannah Sparrow.  Although Savannah Sparrows are a fairly common sparrow in the area during the fall and winter, it is very seldom that we actually catch them in our nets.  Savannah Sparrows prefer more open habitats that can be found in the dunes and marshes surrounding the outer edges of the netting area.  So we were quite lucky to have this individual wander into one of our nets this morning.        

-Mattie
Savannah Sparrow (hatch year)


Little Bear 

We finally got the all clear to return to Little Bear today. We were greeted with strong winds from the south-west which increased over the morning causing us to shut down 4 of our 15 nets to prevent injury to the birds.

Despite that downside it was a good morning's banding with 118 new birds and 5 recaptures of 16 species. First of the season bird was a Black-throated Green Warbler and two new species for the site were Blue-winged Warbler and Swamp Sparrow. Gray Catbirds dominated the catch this morning - 64% of the catch.

Two of the recaptured birds, a Northern Cardinal and a Carolina Chickadee, were banded on the first day of banding at Little Bear making them the oldest recaps for the site so far at 36 days!

The Blue-winged Warbler was a record  the 1000th new bird for the site! Today's catch means we have now banded 1,085 birds since the nets were opened on 7th September.


Black-throated Green Warbler (Hatch year male)

Blue-winged Warbler (Hatch year female) - 1000th bird banded at Little Bear
- Chris

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Eastern Wood-pewee 1 - - -
Eastern Phoebe 3 - - -
White-eyed Vireo - 1 3 -
Red-eyed Vireo 1 - - -
Carolina Chickadee - 1 - 2
Carolina Wren - 1 - 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 - - -
Gray Catbird 40 13 75 1
Northern Mockingbird - - 1 -
Blue-winged Warbler - - 1 -
Northern Parula 1 - - -
Yellow Warbler - - 1 -
Black-throated Blue Warbler 3 - - -
Black-throated Green Warbler - - 1 -
Prairie Warbler 2 - - -
Palm Warbler (Western) 2 - 7 -
Black-and-white Warbler 1 - - -
American Redstart - 1 4 -
Northern Waterthrush 1 - 2 -
Ovenbird 1 - - -
Common Yellowthroat 11 2 17 -
Savannah Sparrow 1 - - -
Swamp Sparrow - - 1 -
Northern Cardinal - 1 1 1
Indigo Bunting 2 - 1 -
Painted Bunting 2 - 3 -


 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded 73 118 191
# of Recaptures 20 5 25
# of Species 16 16 26
Effort (net-hours) 118.25 63.61 181.86
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours) 78.6 193.4 118.8
Nets 25 15 35

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Chris Snook (LB)
Nancy Raginski (LB)
Sean McElaney (LB)
Casey Weissburg (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)