May 4, 2016

Please Consider Making A Donation

Hello to all of our loyal followers!

As many of you know, Audubon Pennsylvania is a non-profit environmental organization dedicated to conservation.  Most of our funding come from grants that we have to apply for each year (and hope to receive!) as well as from private donations. We love what we do here at Presque Isle and we hope that you love it as well. Bird Banding started in the 1960s here and Audubon has been carrying on that proud tradition since 2007. There is a lot of wonderful data involved in such a rich banding history but there is also so much more to find out about the thousands of birds that use Presque Isle each spring along their migratory route. In order to keep banding each season though, we are asking for your help. We try to run the program with as much help from volunteers as possible but we do need to be able to keep at least one professionally-trained bird bander on staff to run the station plus, banding supplies are not cheap. Just this morning, we had a deer run through two nets tearing a four foot wide hole in each of them and rendering them unsafe to use. When things like this happen, it is frustrating and unfortunate because mist nets, which are vital to our research, cost upwards of $100.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation by clicking on this link: Donate Here. Every little bit counts and we here at Audubon thank you and I'm sure if the birds could speak our language they, too, would thank you.

Second Week Highlights

Despite a lot of cool damp weather, we had another pretty decent week here at Presque Isle. We banded a total of 246 new birds of 31 different species. White-throated Sparrows continued to be our biggest catch, with 130 newly banded birds. They have been using the park's resources to fatten up for their journey across the Lake to their breeding grounds and have been quite a joy to watch. The biggest highlight was definitely the amount of raptors that we have banded thus far this season: two Cooper's Hawks and four Sharp-shinned Hawks. They, too, are migrating through the area and we don't often catch any raptors, let alone six, so it has been pretty special.

Immature Male Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Notice the yellow-orangish eye and the
dark brown plumage.
Adult Male Sharp-shinned Hawk. Notice
the red eye and slate gray, almost
blue-tinged plumage.

Long time volunteer, Frank Frisina,
proudly displaying a male Sharp-shinned
Hawk, the first raptor he's ever extracted.
Long time supporter of bird banding at Presque Isle, Sam Stull,
admiring a Sharp-shinned Hawk
Ron Cleaver, a long time reader of our blog
visited us at the banding station and got to
see a female Northern Flicker up close.

April 26, 2016

Spring Banding 2016 First Week Summary

Every year we ask Mother Nature to please not drop any more leaves, branches, and/or the entire tree(!) into our net lanes over the winter and every year it seems like we have just as much trimming and raking to do as we did the previous year. This year, however, we will gladly accept yet another fallen tree and overgrown prickly plants because wow, what a first week of banding we had! In between all of the aforementioned maintenance, we were able to get most of our nets up by the end of the week and even with cooler weather over the weekend, we still increased our banding totals from last year by, well, A LOT.
Last year our first week of banding we had 20 birds total. This year we had...drumroll please....
231 newly banded birds!! And, no, I didn't accidentally add an extra digit. We also had 5 recaptures (including an eighth year bird) and handled a total of 26 species.
Below are some of the highlights.

Eastern Towhee originally banded in
2010 as a 'Second Year' bird meaning
that he is in his eighth year!

We banded 87 Yellow-rumped Warblers the
first week- nearly double the amount that
we banded for the entire 2015 banding season.
Pine Warbler-the FIRST ever banded since
Audubon began banding here in 2007.

Male Coopers Hawk
Field Sparrow
Chipping Sparrow