Monday, September 14, 2015

August Banding Summary

Passerine Banding

The passerine banding fall season is off to a busy start. During the month of August banding took place on 10 days and a total of 605 birds were banded, with 37 species represented; 29 birds were recaptured. Thus far 17 species of warblers have been banded, and the top two species of birds captured have been American Redstarts at 95 birds, and Tennessee Warblers at 76 birds. Some highlights thus far in the season include 3 Indigo Buntings, 6 Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, 2 Scarlet Tanagers, and one Black-billed Cuckoo.

Hawk Ridge has been participating in a study measuring mercury accumulation in feathers of raptors. The results have indicated that the highest levels of mercury are found in birds that eat other birds, such as Sharp-shinned Hawks and Merlins. This fall season, Hawk Ridge passerine banders will sample from selected species of songbirds that populate wetlands and bogs, upland forests, and scrub habitats in an attempt to look further back in the food chain to determine if these birds also possess levels of mercury in their feathers, and begin to trace where the mercury is entering the food chain.

Margie Menzies, naturalist & songbird bander
Male American Redstart (photo by Karen Stubenvoll)

Raptor Banding

The hawk banding started on the 13th August at the Hawk Ridge station and we ran Moose Valley starting on the 24th which is the first time in years that Moose valley was operation in August. Both Miranda Durbin and David Alexander ran Moose Valley. Certainly the highlight was the capture and banding of two adult Bald Eagles, one at each station. We banded a total of 156 raptors of  8 species which included the following:  Bald Eagles-2, Northern Harrier-1, Sharp-shinned Hawk -113, Cooper’s Hawk-13, Broad-winged Hawk-3, Red-tailed Hawk-9, American Kestrel-2 and Merlin-13.
Miranda Durbin with adult Bald Eagle (photo by Karen Stubenvoll)

We are looking forward to having two raptor banding trainees this fall, Alan Moss from Florida and Reed Turner from the Twin Cities. They will be an integral part of the fall banding season. Alan & Reed will be helping with several projects, as well as assisting with both the hawk and owl banding.
Alan Moss of Florida with HY F Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo by Karen Stubenvoll)

Reed Turner of Minnesota with HY F Sharp-shinned Hawk (photo by Karen Stubenvoll)

Frank Nicoletti, Director of Banding

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