Thursday, September 9, 2010

September 9 - Fall Migration Monitoring

Bam! 169 birds today! Opening round was 32 birds, followed by a few rounds in the teens, and then another round of 31 birds! Things slowed down a bit afterward, but never really so much that we were without birds. Now normally bird catches peak at the start of the morning or shortly thereafter and then decrease over the morning and today seemed no different, until the closing round... When out of the blue we were hit with 22 birds, mostly Yellow Warblers. A exciting and busy day, but it never felt like we were too busy, as the quality of our volunteers now lets us handle these days with relative ease.

Almost half of today's birds were Yellow Warblers. I was certain we were over the hump of their migration and they were on their way out, but today showed you can't count them out yet. But where are these birds coming from? Alaska? High elevations?

There was a definite increase in the number of Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Savannah and Song Sparrows, with new high totals for each species. Savannah Sparrow is a species we don't catch too often, likely because most of our nets are not located in open grassy areas where you typically find them. But net two must have been close enough as seven of the nine banded were from that net.

The number of recaptures were down for all species, especially Yellow Warblers. Birds are probably trying to get out of the area before the next front comes in later on tomorrow. So as I've said before I don't like predicting the future, but it could be a busy one.

Two other birds of note today were at least one Purple Martin heard calling over the pond, its getting a bit late for them, and a imm. male or adult female Anna's Hummingbird around the banding lab. The latter bird caused a bit of excitement as it was immediately identified as not being a Rufous, which accounts for 99.9% of all hummingbirds at the station. But after a bit of watching a few iridescent pinkish-purple feathers were seen in the throat and its identity was confirmed.

No comments:

Post a Comment