Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Rain Day

Both Captain Sam’s and Little Bear were closed today due to rain this morning.  Tomorrow looks promising with winds from the northwest overnight tonight and rain arriving later in the day.  On the other hand, the forecast for Friday is looking a bit gloomy with Tropical Storm Hermine heading our way. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Captain Sam's
Today things picked up a bit. We had offshore thunderstorms in the morning, which lit up the sky rather nicely! Silhouetting the thunderheads as the electricity sparked behind them. We had 22 new birds and 8 recaps. It was rather a nice day; overcast which kept the temperature down a bit. We had one rather exciting net run which included one of the highlights of the day and resulted in a brand new species at Captain Sam's. A hatch year male Cooper's hawk had flown into one of the nets. In the net next to the Cooper's hawk was a Sanderling (a Captain Sam's first). Unfortunately it wasn't alive. It was likely carried into the net by the hawk which released it upon hitting the net. A late morning thunderstorm made us pack up early then we otherwise would have. Overall a superb day!

Little Bear
Out at Little Bear we had 24 new birds and 2 recaptures of 10 species. Despite offshore thunderstorms and scattered light rain showers, we were able to stay open almost three and a half hours until a fast-moving storm started getting ominously close. Although nothing quite matched the excitement of the Cooper's Hawk (and his interrupted meal) at Captain Sam's, we did have our first-of-season Worm-eating Warbler, and a non-avian highlight in the form of a large corn snake that tried to unobtrusively make its way under the table while we were banding.

--Blaine

Worm-eating Warbler (Hatch-year, sex unknown)

A very friendly corn snake


  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
Cooper's Hawk
1
-
-
-
Downy Woodpecker
-
1
-
-
"Traill's" Flycatcher
1
-
-
-
Carolina Chickadee
-
-
2
-
Brown Thrasher
-
-
2
-
Northern Mockingbird
-
1
-
-
Worm-eating Warbler
-
-
1
-
Northern Waterthrush
2
-
3
-
Black-and-white Warbler
1
-
-
-
Common Yellowthroat
6
-
1
-
American Redstart
4
-
2
-
Northern Parula
1
-
-
-
Prairie Warbler
1
-
7
-
White-eyed Vireo
1
-
-
-
Red-eyed Vireo
1
-
-
-
Carolina Wren
-
2
2
2
Northern Cardinal
-
4
1
-
Painted Bunting
1
-
3
-




 Banding StatsCaptain Sam'sLittle BearTOTAL
# Birds Banded
22
24
46
# of Recaptures
8
2
10
# of Species
15
10
18
Effort (net-hours)
100.0
56.67
156.67
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
30.0
45.9
35.7
Nets
25
17
42

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Alison Nevins (CS)
Col Lauzau (CS)
Michael Rodgers (CS)
Ryan Donelly (LB)
Chris Snook (CS)

Monday, August 29, 2016

Slow days continue...

Captain Sam's

Today we had a total of 10 birds captured at Captain Sam's. Five of the ten birds were Painted Buntings. During our last net run of the day we caught a beautiful male Mourning Dove. Mourning Doves are known for bouncing out of the nets so they often evade capture. It was a great end to an otherwise slow day. Other species banded today included Common Yellowthroat, American Redstart, and a Northern Cardinal.

Little Bear

At Little Bear this morning, we had 10 new birds and 3 recaptures of 8 species. We had a few more migrants passing through compared to yesterday along with several hatch year Painted Buntings. The young Painted Buntings will continue to pass through the site as migration picks up. The weather looks the same for the rest of the week so we are expecting similar numbers. It is supposed to cool off a little by the weekend so we are hoping for more migrants to push through. We opened up another new net today at Little Bear, increasing our net total to 17. On the first day open, net 17 had its first two captures, which included a Northern Waterthrush and a Painted Bunting. We also caught another Common-Ground Dove (pictured below), which is always a nice bird to see in the hand, They seem to be doing well at the site since I seem to see a few everyday I am out there. From the picture, you can tell it is a male due to the large patches of iridescent bluish spots on the wing. Males will also get a bluish head, and their throat and breast will be rose or pink. Females may have a little blue on the head and rose on the throat and breast but will mostly be brown with brownish spots on the wing.  

-Michael

Common-Ground Dove (after hatch year, male) 


  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
Common-Ground Dove
-
-
1
-
Mourning Dove
1
-
-
-
White-eyed Vireo
-
-
-
1
Carolina Wren
-
-
1
1
Northern Waterthrush 
-
-
1
-
Common Yellowthroat
1
-
1
-
American Redstart
2
-
-
-
Prairie Warbler 
-
-
1
-
Northern Cardinal
-
1
1
-
Painted Bunting
2
3
4
1




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
6
10
16
# of Recaptures
4
3
7
# of Species
5
8
23
Effort (net-hours)
115
60.5
175.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
8.7
21.5
13.1
Nets
25
17
42

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Alison Nevins (CS)
Col Lauzau (CS)
Michael Rodgers (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donelly (LB)

Sunday, August 28, 2016

FOS: Ruby-throated Hummingbird

Captain Sam's
Today was similar to the last few days with 6 new birds and 5 recaptures of 10 different species.  We had surprisingly high species diversity considering that we only banded 11 birds.  We started off the morning with our 2nd Eastern Screech-Owl of the season, who happened to fly into a net while we were still in the process of opening it.  We also had our first Ruby-throated Hummingbird of the season.  Sadly, we are unable to band hummingbirds because a special permit is required.  Hummingbird bands do not have the standard nine numbers found on other bird bands.  There is limited space on the bands for numbers which limits the quantity of unique band that can be produced.  They often reserve the permits and bands for people who are doing specific studies on hummingbirds.          
 
Ruby-throated Hummingbird (hatch-year, male)


Little Bear 
 At Little Bear we had 7 new birds and 3 recaptures of 5 different species. Since the capture rate was so low we had a lot of free time between checking the nets, and we used it to set up another new net lane, bringing the total nets at the site up to 17. If the predicted east winds keep things slow for the next few days then we should have all 20 planned nets up by midweek.

--Blaine

  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Ruby-throated Hummingbird
x
-
-
-
Eastern Screech-Owl
1
-
-
-
Carolina Chickadee
-
1
-
-
Carolina Wren

1
-
1
Northern Mockingbird
-
1
-
-
Prothonotary Warbler
1
-
-
-
Common Yellowthroat
1
-
-
-
American Redstart
1
-
1
-
Prairie Warbler
1
-
2
-
Northern Cardinal
-
1
1
2
Painted Bunting
1
1
3
-




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
6
7
13
# of Recaptures
5
3
8
# of Species
10
5
10
Effort (net-hours)
110.0
56.0
166
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
10.0
17.9
12.7
Nets
25
16
41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Alison Nevins (CS)
Col Lauzau (CS)
Michael Rodgers (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)
Ryan Donelly (LB)

Saturday, August 27, 2016

August 27, 2016


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Acadian Flycatcher
1
-
-
-
White-eyed Vireo
-
-
-
1
Red-eyed Vireo
1
-
-
-
Carolina Chickadee
-
-
1
-
Carolina Wren
-
1
-
2
Northern Mockingbird
-
-
1
-
Ovenbird
1
-
-
-
Northern Waterthrush
1
-
-
-
American Redstart
3
-
1
-
Black-throated Blue Warbler
1
-
-
-
Northern Cardinal
1
1
1
1
Painted Bunting
1
-
6
-




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
10
10
20
# of Recaptures
2
4
6
# of Species
10
7
12
Effort (net-hours)
110.0
56.0
166.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
10.9
25.0
15.7
Nets
25
16
41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)
Ryan Donelly (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (LB)

Friday, August 26, 2016

August 26, 2016

Captain Sam's 
Today was the slowest day of the season thus far, with 3 new birds and 3 recaptures for a grand total of 6 birds all morning.  With no major changes in the weather pattern forecasted, we are likely to see similar numbers over the next few days. 

-Mattie

Little Bear
Although not as slow as Captain Sam's, it was still a slow and hot morning at Little Bear, with 9 new birds, 5 recaptures, and a temperature of 90 degrees by 9:50 AM.

We did have a nice comparison of hatch-year versus after hatch-year White-eyed Vireos. While older individuals of this species have a white iris that perfectly fits their name, juveniles hatch with a muddy gray or brown iris that slowly changes to white over the first several months of their life. By mid-winter this hatch-year bird should have a similarly white eye.

-Blaine

White-eyed Vireo (After hatch-year, sex unknown)
White-eyed Vireo (Hatch-year, sex unknown)


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
White-eyed Vireo
-
-
2
-
Carolina Chickadee
-
2
1
-
Carolina Wren
-
-
-
3
Northern Mockingbird
-
-
1
-
Northern Waterthrush
1
-
-
-
Prairie Warbler
-
-
2
-
Northern Cardinal
1
1
-
1
Painted Bunting
1
-
3
1




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
3
9
12
# of Recaptures
3
5
8
# of Species
4
7
8
Effort (net-hours)
93.75
56.00
149.75
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
6.4
25.0
13.4
Nets
25
16
41

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Ryan Donelly (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

FOS: Hooded Warbler

Captain Sam's 
It was another slow day at Captain Sam’s today with 8 new birds and 8 recaptures, comprised of 9 species.  Carolina Chickadees, Carolina Wrens, and other residents made up the majority of our captures, as migrant species were few and far between.  We did, however, end the day with a first of the season Hooded Warbler.  Hooded Warblers breed throughout eastern North America and spend their winters in Central America and the West Indies.  On their wintering grounds, both male and female Hooded Warblers hold and defend territories.  Males setup territories in mature forest, whereas females prefer scrubbier forest that are prone to seasonal flooding.


-Mattie
Hooded Warbler (hatch-year, female)


Little Bear
It was just as slow out at Little Bear this morning with 10 new birds and 7 recaptures of 8 species. We mostly caught residents, with Painted Buntings being the most abundant. We did get a pretty good looking after-second year male Painted Bunting, even though it was in full molt (pictured below). We also added a new net today, upping our total to 16 nets and found other locations where we can place the other 4 nets we plan to incorporate.

-Michael


Painted Bunting (after-second year, male)

We knew this was an after-second year male because
male Painted Buntings do not get their colorful plumage
until after their second year. They actually go through their
first breeding season (second year) looking like females, which
are completely green. Some second years may show bluish patches on
the head, a sign that it's a male.

Photo by Blaine Carnes



  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Downy Woodpecker
1
-
-
-
White-eyed Vireo
-
-
-
1
Carolina Chickadee
-
4
-
-
Tufted Titmouse
-
-
1
-
Carolina Wren
-
2
-
1
Black-and-white Warbler
-
-
1
-
Prothonotary Warbler
1
-
-
-
Common Yellowthroat
-
-
1
-
Hooded Warbler
1
-
-
-
American Redstart
2
-
-
-
Prairie Warbler
2
-
4
-
Northern Cardinal 
-
2
2
-
Painted Bunting 
1
-
1
4




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
8
10
18
# of Recaptures
8
7
15
# of Species
9
8
13
Effort (net-hours)
124.8
52.5
177.3
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
12.8
32.4
18.6
Nets
24
15
39

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

August 24, 2016

CAPTAIN SAM'S
It was a relatively slow day at Captain Sam's with only 11 new birds and 5 recaptures of 9 different species.  We captured 4 more Prairie Warblers this morning which has been our most commonly banded species so far this season.  We banded adults of both sexes during the same net round which gave a good opportunity to compare their plumage.  Adult males are bright yellow on the breast and face with very distinct black streaking along the flanks.  They also have two black stripes on the face:  one going through the eye and the other creating a "u" shape under the eye.  Adult females can be fairly bright yellow too but usually not as vibrant as the males.  They also have similar markings to the male but the stripes on face are grayish olive in color and the streaking on the flanks is less pronounced.  Males have large reddish spots on their back, while females lack spotting or the spots arereduced in size. For more information on ageing and sexing Prairie Warblers, click this link from a post from 2012.  

-Aaron

Prairie Warbler (after hatch-year, male)
Prairie Warbler (after hatch-year, female)


Prairie Warbler (after hatch-year, female)

Prairie Warbler (after hatch-year, male)
 


  


LITTLE BEAR
It was another slow day at Little Bear this morning and another day we had to close early due to heat. We ended up catching 18 new birds and 3 recaptures of 9 species, with resident species making up most of the birds. We did catch a couple Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice, which were firsts for the site this season. We also found time to set up a new net lane as we plan on having 20 nets up and running soon, instead of the 15 we have now. It looks to be a hot weekend so we are expecting the bird numbers to stay low as we head into next week, hopefully giving us plenty of time to get the rest of the nets set up before the other members of our crew arrive on Saturday.

-Michael   


  SpeciesCaptain Sam'sLittle Bear
NewRecapsNewRecaps
Carolina Chickadee 
-
-
2
-
Tufted Titmouse
-
-
2
-
Carolina Wren 
-
-
2
2
Red-eyed Vireo 
1
-
2
-
Ovenbird
-
1
-
-
Northern Waterthrush
2
-
2
-
Black-and-white Warbler
1
-
-
-
Common Yellowthroat
1
-
-
-
American Redstart
2
-
-
-
Prairie Warbler
4
-
3
-
Northern Cardinal 
-
3
2
1
Painted Bunting
-
1
2
-
Eastern Towhee 
-
-
1
-




 Banding StatsCaptain Sam'sLittle BearTOTAL
# Birds Banded
11
18
29
# of Recaptures
5
3
8
# of Species
9
9
13
Effort (net-hours)
130.5
60.00
190.5
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
12.3
35.0
19.4
# of Nets
25
15
40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (CS)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Ryan Donnelly (CS)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Michael Gamble (LB)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

FOS: Common Ground-Dove, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Blue-winged Warbler

Captain Sam's

We had another good day out at Captain Sam's this morning with 31 new birds and 7 recaptures of 12 species. The Northern Waterthrush just beat out the American Redstart for most abundant species of the morning. We caught our first-of-the season Common Ground-Dove, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and Blue-winged Warbler. The highlight was definitely the Blue-winged Warbler, which is a very rare catch here. If we catch any it is usually just one. We caught two last year but only one was caught at Captain Sam's and another at Little Bear. It was also the first Blue-winged Warbler I have ever banded!

A recent study found that Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers are 99.97 percent genetically similar. You wouldn't think this based on their physical appearance, where they look completely different. They also sound completely different and live in different parts of the country (Golden wings living in the Northeast and upper Midwest and blue wings more south from the Ozark Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains), but they do interbreed where the two species meet, forming hybrids. The study compared the differences between Blue-winged and Golden-winged Warblers to the differences between people who have or do not have freckles. This is a very interesting find considering these two species are strikingly different by appearance.  

-Michael

Blue-winged Warbler (hatch year, female)

Photo by Mattie Vandenboom


Little Bear

The second day of banding at Little Bear proved much less fruitful than the first, with only 12 new birds and 2 recaptures. Overnight wind out of the east seems to have blown most migrants beyond the eastern end of Kiawah and we caught considerably fewer resident birds, meaning they may already be starting to avoid the nets. Despite the slow capture rates, it was not a bad morning to be out there. Cloud cover and the stiff morning breeze kept things cool for the first three hours.


-Blaine

Sunrise at Little Bear


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Common Ground-Dove
1
-
1
-
Traill's Flycatcher
-
-
1
-
Great Crested Flycatcher
1
-
-
-
Red-eyed Vireo
1
-
-
-
Carolina Wren
-
4
-
1
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
1
-
-
-
Northern Waterthrush
7
-
3
-
Blue-winged Warbler
1
-
-
-
American Redstart
6
-
-
-
Yellow Warbler
1
-
1
-
Prairie Warbler
7
-
-
-
Northern Cardinal
1
-
1
-
Painted Bunting
4
3
5
1




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
31
12
43
# of Recaptures
7
2
9
# of Species
12
7
13
Effort (net-hours)
125.0
56.25
181.25
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
30.4
24.9
28.7
Nets
25
15
40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)

22 August 2016

Captain Sam's

We had a fairly good morning at Captain Sam’s with 36 new birds and 4 recaptures, comprised of 15 species.  The overnight radar showed another pulse of migrants from the North Carolina coast.  As a result of that pulse, 80 percent of the birds banded were migrants.  Prairie Warblers, Red-eyed Vireos, and Northern Waterthrush were the most numerous species around the station.  We also had several first of the seasons including Downy Woodpecker, Ovenbird, Black and White Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat. 
-Mattie 
Black and White Warbler (after hatch-year, male)
 Little Bear
Today was the first day of banding this season at Little Bear and the site produced 55 new birds and 1 recapture, representing 15 species. Unlike Captain Sam's, almost half the birds were species that breed on Kiawah. Over the next few days the Northern Cardinals, Painted Buntings, Carolina Wrens, and other residents will start learning where the nets are and the number that gets captured will drop off.

-Blaine


  Species Captain Sam's Little Bear
New Recaps New Recaps
Downy Woodpecker
1
-
-
-
"Traill's" Flycatcher
3
-
1
-
White-eyed Vireo
-
-
2
-
Red-eyed Vireo
5
-
9
-
Carolina Chickadee
-
1
-
-
Carolina Wren
1
2
6
1
Brown Thrasher
-
-
2
-
Ovenbird
2
-
2
-
Northern Waterthrush
4
-
4
-
Black and White Warbler
2
-
-
-
Prothonotary Warbler
2
-
-
-
American Redstart
3
-
2
-
Common Yellowthroat
3
-
2
-
Yellow Warbler
2
-
2
-
Black-throated Blue Warbler
-
-
1
-
Prairie Warbler
6
-
7
-
Yellow-breasted Chat
-
1
-
-
Eastern Towhee
-
-
1
-
Northern Cardinal
2
-
9
-
Painted Bunting
-
-
6
-




 Banding Stats Captain Sam's Little Bear TOTAL
# Birds Banded
36
56
92
# of Recaptures
4
1
5
# of Species
15
15
19
Effort (net-hours)
130.0
55
185.0
Capture Rate (birds/100 net-hours)
30.8
103.6
52.4
Nets
25
15
40

Banding Staff
Aaron Given (LB)
Blaine Carnes (LB)
Mattie VandenBoom (CS)
Michael Gamble (CS)

Sunday, August 21, 2016

FOS Traill's Flycatcher & Black-throated Blue Warbler

The radar showed some bird activity along the coast of North Carolina last night and it seemed to translate into some new migrants arriving at the Kiawah Island Banding Station this morning.  We banded 33 new birds and had 6 recaptures of 14 different species.  We captured our first "Traill's" Flycatcher and Black-throated Blue Warbler of the season, and had a good number of Northern Waterthrushes and Prothonotary Warblers.

We are opening the Little Bear Banding Station tomorrow and I am anticipating a fairly busy morning of banding all those resident birds that forgot about our nets.  

-Aaron      




NEW BIRDS
1 "Traill's" Flycatcher
2 Red-eyed Vireo
1 Carolina Chickadee
4 American Redstart
2 Yellow Warbler
4 Prothonotary Warbler
6 Prairie Warbler
1 Black-throated Blue Warbler
8 Northern Waterthrush
1 Yellow-breasted Chat
2 Northern Cardinal
1 Painted Bunting

RECAPTURES
4 Carolina Wren
1 Northern Mockingbird
1 Northern Cardinal

BANDING STATS
# of New Birds:  33
# of Recaptures:  6
# of Species:  14
Effort:  116.4 net-hours
Capture Rate:  33.5 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  25

BANDING STAFF
Aaron Given
Mattie VandenBoom
Michael Gamble
Blaine Carnes