May 27, 2014

Late May- just one day of banding left!

Hello PI Banding fans,

Before I talk about the fun stuff, I need to let all of you know that I will not be banding on Friday, May 30th, as originally scheduled.  I am going to be over in Ann Arbor at a meeting, so have to cancel the banding for that day.  Sorry!  I will definitely be banding on Saturday, at Niagara.

We had a great weekend with me (Sarah) banding on Friday and Saturday and Bob Mulvihill banding on Sunday. We got a total of 123 birds, with most of those (74) on Sunday when Bob was banding.  He and Pam left Pittsburgh at about 3 AM in order to open nets early at Fry's Landing.  Now I feel lazy for not making more of an effort to get to Presque Isle earlier from Meadville!  The weather was quite bad on Friday-  cold and windy- so I closed by 2:00.  Saturday and Sunday were beautiful! I was thrilled with my first Mourning Warbler on Friday, but then got several more on Saturday, as did Bob.  Here are some shots from Friday and Saturday.
A visitor kindly took a picture of me with a Yellow Warbler on Saturday at the Niagara Boat Launch site.

The Canada Warbler caught on Friday (May 23rd) at Fry's.

A sharp-looking Magnolia Warbler from Friday at Fry's. I love the white eyeliner effect.

A male Yellow Warbler fro Fry's on Friday. 

This shows the tiny outermost (10th) primary on a vireo's wing. It was either a Warbling or Red-eyed; I caught both in the same net run and banded them sequentially and took pictures of both., so now I'm not sure whose wing this is.

I was trying to get a good shot of the red eye of the Red-eyed Vireo, but the wind was blowing hard and this guy was starting to look cold, so this is the best I got. Notice the typical vireo hook at the tip of the bill, too.

This is a Second Year (SY) male American Redstart.  He looks a lot like a female, but has a few tell-tale black feathers coming in. Next year he will be all black instead of gray, and orange where he is yellow now.

A Chestnut-sided Warbler from Niagara on Saturday. This is the one whose species name is pensylvanica (yes, just one n) so is named for our state. Or commonwealth.  I'm still not sure what the difference is.

I felt that Gray Catbirds needed to be recognized here.  They accounted for 23 of the new bands and one of the recaptures over the weekend.  That's 24% of the new bands!

How do you weigh a bird?  Like this!

A nice ASY (After Second Year) male American Redstart, in his normal orientation.

The female Mourning Warbler that I was really trying to make into a Connecticut Warbler.  Her wing length was just too short...
Be sure to come by on Saturday, May 31st, for your last fix of banding for this spring!


May 5, 2014

Spring 2014

Hello Presque Isle Banding Followers.

We finally have a schedule figured out for May.  We will be banding most weekend days (but not all) and I was lucky enough to recruit Bob Mulvihill to help out.  Here is our schedule:
Saturday, May 3rd at Fry's*
Friday, May 9th at Niagara
Saturday, May 10th at Fry's*
Sunday, May 11th at Fry's*
Sunday, May 18th at Fry's*
Friday, May 23rd at Fry's
Saturday, May 24th at Niagara
Sunday, May 25th at Fry's*
Friday, May 30th at Fry's
Saturday, May 31st at Niagara

*with Bob Mulvihill

We are going back and forth between the two sites, like last year, but on a less regular schedule.  

We were out on Saturday, and caught close to 60 birds, despite the weather!  Highlights were a Brown Thrasher and two Nashville Warblers.  We had a lot of Downy Woodpeckers, for some reason- not sure why.  Loads of Yellow-rumped Warblers, plus Yellow Warblers, White-throated Sparrows and a smattering of other species. It was great to have Bob Mulvihill there as the reference on aging everything we got.  He is the Master of Molt!  Bob banded at Powdermill Avian Research Center for 32 years, so really knows his stuff.

As always, we may cancel if the weather is terrible, but hope to see you out there on one of our banding days.

July 1, 2013

End of the Season Tally for Spring 2013

Hello friends,

I finally just tallied up our totals for the spring season.  Here are the numbers: we banded on 15 days, caught 377 new birds and had 76 recaptures in 388 mist-net hours.  A mist-net hour is the standard unit of effort for bird banding, with one mist-net hour meaning one standard sized mist-net (12 m long) being open for one hour.
I am still working on the data entry to get the number of species and how many of each we caught.

Thanks to all of the volunteers who came out to help this spring, and thanks especially to Presque Isle Audubon Society for major financial support and the others of you who sent donations as well.

All for now,

Sarah Sargent
Audubon PA


Michele, Jason, Barb and Ruth at the Niagara Boat Launch banding site in May, 2013.