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).


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.


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
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

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