Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Owl Banding report & Passerine Banding report, Sept 15-30

PASSERINE BANDING by Margie Menzies & David Alexander

Sept. 15-30, 2015
Overlook banding
23 birds were banded on Sept. 19th and 26th. 9 different species were recorded including 7 Black-capped Chickadees, 1 Western Palm Warbler, 1 Fox Sparrow, 1 Magnolia Warbler, 2 Ruby-crowned Kinglets, 1 Tennessee Warbler, 1 Downy Woodpecker, 8 White-throated Sparrows, and 1 Swainson’s Thrush. 6 Black-capped Chickadees were recaptured.

Month summary for the overlook
37 birds total were banded on 4 days for a total of 13 species. September was a fairly quiet month for
banding at the overlook. 8 Black-capped Chickadees were recaptured with 2 birds banded in 2013,
several in 2014, and a few recaptures from birds banded this fall in 2015.

Passerine Banding Station
During Sept. 16-30, we banded 10 days at the passerine banding station, for a total of 218 birds Banded representing 27 species, and 5 recaptures. Later season birds were captured such as Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, Hermit Thrushes, Myrtle Warblers (Yellow-rumped Wablers in your bird guide), Fox Sparrows, and just the beginning of the Slate-colored Junco Season (Dark-eyed Junco in your bird guide.) The first Sharp-shinned Hawk caught in the passerine nets for 2015, occurred during this period- usually this happens fairly frequently through the season, but not this year. On Sept. 27, we hosted a visiting group of banders from the Twin Cities area. This was an interesting day of sharing and re-establishing a network of banders in Minnesota which was once an active group, but had become inactive in recent times. The hope is that we will continue to communicate and meet occasionally to keep each other informed on projects and issues in banding as well as establish the potential for collaboration among Minnesota banders.

Month Summary for the Passerine Banding Station
For the Month of September 2015, we banded 565 birds on 21 days, with 14 recaptured birds. 46
species of birds were banded in Sept. 21 species of warblers, 7 species of sparrows, 4 species of
thrushes, 3 species of woodpeckers, 3 species of flycatchers, and 3 types of vireos. Highlights included a Scarlet Tanager, Black-billed Cuckoo, Brown Creepers, Golden-winged Warblers, Northern Parulas, Black-throated Green Warblers, Blackpoll and Blackburnian Warblers, Fox, Swamp and Lincoln’s Sparrows.

OWL BANDING (Sept 15-30) by Ryan Steiner
The 2015 owl banding season has started out well.  Throughout September the Northern Saw-whet Owl migration has been ramping up from the single bird caught on September 15 to consecutive nights in the fifties and sixties as we move into October.  Around half of the saw-whets coming through have been hatch year birds, or birds that fledged from their nest this summer.  Two year old birds make up most of the rest of the flight, with a few older adults in the mix just to keep things interesting.  The highlight of the Northern Saw-whet Owl migration came on September 22 when interns Alan Moss and Reed Turner came out to help for a few hours.  We were delighted when we found a fluffy saw-whet in the net on the second check, the first Northern Saw-whet Owl that Alan had ever seen.  Over the next hour we caught a few more birds, and just as the guys were planning on leaving, the floodgates opened and owls began to fill the nets.  Foregoing a night of sleep Reed and Alan helped all night and in the end we were all exhausted but happy, having caught 116 Northern Saw-whet Owls over the course of the night! It was quite the introduction for both of the interns, but especially for Alan who went from having never seen a Northern Saw-whet Owl to having seen more than most people will in a lifetime over the course of one night!

Northern Saw-whet Owl by Ryan Steiner

            Although the saw-whet flight is ramping up, the Long-eared Owl migration has yet to reach us, but that does not mean there have been no bigger owls!  Another highlight thus far has been two Barred Owls.  Seeming massive after banding so many of the tiny saw-whets, these owls added a little extra excitement to two of the slower nights!

Barred Owl by Alex Lamoreaux
            As of the end of September we have banded 405 Northern Saw-whet Owls and 2 Barred Owls.  In addition, we have captured 18 previously banded saw-whets at the station which will hopefully further our knowledge on the migration routes of these adorable little owls.

Barred Owl, upperside view, by Alex Lamoreaux

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