Friday, June 18, 2010

MAPS: Day 1--June 8, 2010

Day 1: June 8, 2010
Banders: Bethany Woodworth and Patrick Keenan
Weather: Calm, 60’s, and partly cloudy
Start time: 4:30am End time: 10:45am

The excitement of the first netting day of the season made my sleep restless. Indeed, I was awake before my alarm called at 3:15am--nets to open at 4:30!

The air was cool as I walked into the netting site and I flushed two Turkey Vultures from a tall Maple in the woods. This was a startling racket in the predawn darkness. With a bit of work Bethany and I were able to open eight nets and we enjoyed a slow but steady first day back in the nets. It was nice to be able to take our time looking at each bird and sharing insights about ageing and sexing the birds. It was also nice to get our dexterity back for extracting birds from mist nets without the stress of being overwhelmed with birds.

Among the highlights of the day were two birds that were originally banded last season in 2009. They were a gray catbird and a common yellowthroat each of which appear to have returned the same breeding site after migrating south last fall and north again this spring. It is remarkable to consider that these birds are able to navigate with such accuracy. But, then again, I tend to find my way home to...usually.

Bethany Woodworth holds a blue jay after banding and before release.

In all we captured a total of 10 individuals. Six of these we banded while four were returns or recaptures. Here is an unofficial list:

Species Banded
Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens)
Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceaous)
Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata)
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)
Myrtle Warbler (Dendroica coronata)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothylypis trichas)

Species Recaptured
Black-capped Chickadee (Poecile atricapilla)
Hermit Thrush (Catharus guttatus)
Gray Catbird (Dumetella carolinensis)
Common Yellowthroat (Geothylypis trichas)

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this update. I look forward to another update next week.

Until then,
Patrick Keenan
BioDiversity Research Institute

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