Monday, August 15, 2016

First Day of the 2016 Fall Migration Season

Today was the first day of the 2016 fall migration banding season and we are looking forward to another great season at KIBS.  We will be operating both the Captain Sam's site and the Little Bear site again this year.  The Captain Sam's site located at the west end of Kiawah began its 8th fall season and will be operated everyday until the end of November.  We will be running the same 25 nets as last season.   The Little Bear site located at the far eastern end of Kiawah will begin its 2nd fall season in about a week (or earlier) and will be operated daily until mid-November.  We will be running 15-20 mist nets this year compared to the 10-16 that we ran last year.

We will have a great team working at KIBS this year!  Most of the banding assistants will arrive between August 15-28.  I will update the "Staff" page in the coming weeks with everybody's profile.  I am happy to have Mattie VandenBoom returning for her 4th fall season!  I am also happy to have Michael Gamble and Ryan Donnelly coming back for their 2nd season.  I'd like to welcome Blaine Carnes (who will be heading up the site at Little Bear Island), Alison Nevins, Col Lauzau, and Michael Rodgers to Kiawah Island!  A big thanks to Michael Gamble and Ryan Donnelly for helping me the last week clear net lanes and put up the mist nets. on to today.

We had a very good first day of the season with 39 new birds and 6 recaptures of 10 different species.  The highlight today came in the first net round when we had 4 Great Crested Flycatchers sitting in net 20.  It was most likely a family group as there was one adult and three juveniles.  We do not capture many Great Crested Flycatchers during the fall and if we do, never more than one at a time, so it was nice to be able to compare the different ages.

Great Crested Flycatcher (hatch year, sex unknown)

Great Crested Flycatcher (hatch year, sex unknown)
Note the molt limit in greater coverts.  The darker, whitish tipped, replaced inner greater coverts (green)
compared to the brown, rusty tipped, unreplaced outer greater coverts (red).  

Great Crested Flycatcher (after hatch year, sex unknown)
All greater coverts have been replaced.  This bird was also undergoing primary molt,
and had only replaced one inner primary covert.  As this molt progresses distally it will
replace all of the those old, brown primary coverts with fresh, darker ones giving the appearance
of a uniform wing both in color and in wear.

I'd like to thank Matt Johnson for braving the heat and humidity with me this morning.  It's looking like we are in for another hot one tomorrow.

4 Great Crested Flycatcher
1 Eastern Kingbird
4 Carolina Chickadee
3 Carolina Wren
1 Northern Mockingbird
2 American Redstart
4 Prairie Warbler
1 Yellow Warbler
12 Northern Cardinal
7 Painted Bunting

1 Carolina Wren (8/16/14)
3 Northern Cardinal (9/12/11, 1/25/13, 8/15/15)
2 Painted Bunting (8/21/15, 9/13/15)

# of Birds Banded:  39
# of Recaptures:  6
# of Species:  10
Effort:  115.0 net-hours
Capture Rate:  39.1 birds/100 net-hours
# of Nets:  25

Aaron Given
Matt Johnson