June 7, 2016

Spring 2016 Banding Totals


WOW, what another great season!! We banded 2,081 new birds this spring, recaptured 123 unique previously banded individuals and handled 81 different species.  As always, a big thank you to our volunteers as well as to everyone that came out or helped support us in one way or another this season, we couldn't have done it without you!


Our top ten species banded in the spring of 2016 are:


Tying for the tenth spot is the Black-throated Blue Warbler. We banded 50 of these birds in 2016 compared to 19 in 2015.
Also tied for tenth place is the Blackpoll Warbler. We banded 50 of these in 2016 compared to 62 in 2015. This was the only species in our top ten that we banded more of in 2015.

In ninth place is the American Redstart with 58 newly banded birds in 2016 compared to 37 in 2015.

In eighth place is the Common Yellowthroat with 71 newly banded birds in 2016 compared to 65 in 2015.

The Ruby-crowned Kinglet came in at seventh place this year with 82 newly banded birds compared to only 2 in 2015!

At number six is the Western Palm Warbler with 133 newly banded birds in 2016 compared to only 19 in the 2015.

In fifth place is the Magnolia Warbler with 136 newly banded birds in 2016 compared to 86 in 2015.

The Myrtle Warbler came in fourth place with a grand total of 150 newly banded birds in 2016 compared to 41 in 2015. This is normally one of our top species banded so it was nice to see it return to the top five this season. 

Gray Catbird, with 218 newly banded individuals, came in  third this season compared to 217 banded in 2015. 

Surprisingly, the White-throated Sparrow came in at number two with 227 newly banded birds compared to 100 in 2015.

And at number one is the Yellow Warbler with 324 newly banded individuals compared to 149 in 2015.



Below is the rest of this season's totals:




SPECIES
2016
ACADIAN FLYCATCHER
2
AMERICAN GOLDFINCH
4
AMERICAN KESTREL
1
AMERICAN REDSTART
58
AMERICAN ROBIN
20
BALTIMORE ORIOLE
10
BARN SWALLOW
1
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER
14
BAY-BREASTED WARBLER
2
BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE
2
BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER
8
BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD
2
BLUE-HEADED VIREO
1
BLACKBURNIAN WARBLER
12
BLUE JAY
5
BLACKPOLL WARBLER
50
BROWN CREEPER
4
BROWN THRASHER
8
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER
50
BLACK-THROATED GREEN WARBLER
18
BLUE-WINGED WARBLER
4
CAROLINA CHICKADEE
2
CANADA WARBLER
7
CERULEAN WARBLER
CHIPPING SPARROW
1
CAPE MAY WARBLER
4
COMMON GRACKLE
1
COOPER'S HAWK
2
COMMON YELLOWTHROAT
71
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER
30
DOWNY WOODPECKER
8
EASTERN PHOEBE
1
EASTERN TOWHEE
5
EASTERN WOOD-PEWEE
3
EASTERN WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW
6
FIELD SPARROW
6
FOX SPARROW
1
GREAT-CRESTED FLYCATCHER
7
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET
1
GRAY CATBIRD
218
HAIRY WOODPECKER
2
HERMIT THRUSH
21
HOODED WARBLER
7
HOUSE WREN
13
INDIGO BUNTING
2
LEAST FLYCATCHER
10
LINCOLN'S SPARROW
29
MAGNOLIA WARBLER
136
MOURNING WARBLER
11
MYRTLE WARBLER
150
NASHVILLE WARBLER
38
NORTHERN CARDINAL
14
NORTHERN PARULA
3
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH
10
NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW
7
OVENBIRD
13
PHILADELPHIA VIREO
4
PINE WARBLER
1
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK
2
RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER
1
RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET
82
RED-EYED VIREO
25
RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD
4
SLATE-COLORED JUNCO
2
SONG SPARROW
23
SPOTTED SANDPIPER
1
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK
4
SWAMP SPARROW
11
SWAINSON'S THRUSH
35
TENNESSEE WARBLER
6
TRAILL'S FLYCATCHER
11
TUFTED TITMOUSE
2
VEERY
13
WARBLING VIREO
13
WHITE-BREASTED NUTHATCH
3
WORM-EATING WARBLER
2
WILSON'S WARBLER
19
WINTER WREN
2
WOOD THRUSH
10
WESTERN PALM WARBLER
133
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW
227
YELLOW-BELLIED FLYCATCHER
2
YELLOW WARBLER
324
YELLOW-SHAFTED FLICKER
3
TOTALS
2081

June 2, 2016

Spring Season 2016 Fifth and Sixth Week Highlights

The last two weeks of banding this season netted us 648 new birds and 55 species. Below are some pictorial highlights:


The Three Rivers Birding Club from Pittsburgh admiring a Red-bellied Woodpecker.
Releasing a Great-crested Flycatcher
Banding Demonstration
A visitor helping to release a banded bird.
Banding a Yellow Warbler- our top species for this season
A Second Year Male Red-winged Blackbird
Banding a Wood Thrush.
Checking a Yellow Warbler for a brood patch. As we
didn't want to keep birds that were previously banded
off of their eggs for too long, we would record the extent
of their brood patch and release at net
Bay-breasted Warbler, one of only two caught this season.
Wilson's Warbler. One of our later migrants. We banded 18 this season.
Measuring the wing length of a Northern Rough-winged Swallow


Ovenbird. We banded 13 this season.
Black-throated Green Warbler. This species arrived later than usual this season.
Tennessee Warbler. For a few days they were singing
their little hearts out around the banding station.
Our BIC amazed to still be capturing
Magnolia Warblers on the very last day of banding.
Canada Warbler. This season we netted 7, all males.
Mourning Warbler, one of 11 we banded this year
Northern Parula. 
Chestnut-sided Warbler.
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher

Our youngest volunteer, Addison, watching the
banding process very intently.
Philadelphia Vireo. This year we caught 4 and before that
we had not banded any since 2013.








June 1, 2016

Spring Season 2016 Fourth Week Highlights

The fourth week of spring banding this season was nothing short of crazy yet fantastic! The weather started out cool but sunny and by Friday we were experiencing winds so strong that they created crashing waves in the Bay and by Sunday it was nothing but periods of hail, snow, and rain throughout the day. And YET, we had three days of over a 100 birds banded and our biggest day yet in Audubon PA's history there with 318 birds banded! In total for the week, we banded 823 new birds of 55 species.

The 'fallout': May 11th started out as any other morning, there weren't any crazy weather fronts moving through and although we did have southerly winds overnight that had turned to northerly ones in the morning, that was nothing too out of the ordinary for here. We didn't even get all of the nets open before they started filling up with birds. The vegetation was filled with Blackburnians, Black-throated Blues, Cape Mays, and Yellow Warblers, the sandy pathway was covered with Palm Warblers and Lincoln Sparrows, and the dirt parking area saw its share of White-crowned Sparrows. It was simply magical to say the least! We are eternally grateful to our long-time volunteer, Frank Frisina, who actually left work that morning as soon as he got the call that help was desperately needed. Even with the two of us, it still took a while to get the nets shut as the birds were hitting the nets faster than we could extract and at one point, we were literally trying not to trip over them as they were practically everywhere. But, all the birds were safely extracted and we processed 250 of them, releasing close to 50 of them unprocessed due to various reasons, and then were able to reopen a few nets mid-afternoon for a grand total of 318 new birds banded.

Thursday and Friday, Tracy Graziano from the Pennsylvania Game Commission came out to record our work as well as interview us for a video that she is creating that documents the partnership between Audubon PA and the PA Game Commission. Stay tuned for a link to that video later this month.
 Also on Thursday, we began placing transmitters on birds as part of our project to better understand their movements throughout the area as well as the path that they take as they continue north on their journey. Friday and Sunday we closed early due to strong winds and then Sunday, after sitting at the one site in the intermittent hail, snow, and rain, for several hours we went over to the second site with the goal of specifically trying to catch two more Magnolia Warblers to tag. We had three nets open for less than a half hour and were surprised to discover 20-30 warblers in each net! Talk about an impressive birds per net hour average! Of course, since this was the weekend of crazy weather, the wind kicked up and it started hailing again as we tried to process the birds. Luckily we were able to keep the birds warm and dry in the trusty Subaru and our volunteer, who had already gone home for the day, came back to ferry birds two by two from the car to us to be processed. Haha did I mention yet how awesome our volunteers are?!

All in all, quite an amazing week!


Blue-winged Warbler.
Male Indigo Bunting. 
The only photo that I have from our
biggest day. Each of those bags has
birds waiting to be processed. And
there were even more in paper bags
on the table.
We had so many birds on Sunday that both banders were processing.
Where are the birds you may ask? Sitting in the car out of the cold
and intermittent hail storms.
Something about Palm Warblers this year really
living up to their name.

Cape May Warbler.
Tracy attaching a GoPro. 
Filming the banding process via a GOPro
attached to the head.
Male Black-throated Blue Warbler.
Net full of warblers! And another 20 or so
from another net hanging in bird bags 
on the tree in the background
Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Blackburnian Warbler (male)