For those of you interested in the answer to my questions regarding age of the crossbills I banded, I posted a response from Peter Pyle below for both the White-winged Crossbills and the Red Crossbill, which you can view if you go to http://www.capecodbander.blogspot.com/2013/07/crossbills.html.
Our spring migration season ended on 13 June with almost twice as many birds banded as last year. I attribute this to having more help this year enabling us to have all our nets open for the majority of days. We captured our first Cedar Waxing on 4 June, a SY (second year) female.
She only had one red waxy tip to her secondaries and her primary coverts were somewhat abraded.
On the June 5th we had a rather late migrating SY female Wilson's Warbler,
and Keenan finally got a male Pine Warbler, a bird he was hoping to band this spring. Now if only we could get a Belted Kingfisher for Ron!
On the 9th we recaptured a 5 year old Prairie Warbler, she's been captured numerous times since 2010, who has occasionally fooled the bander processing her into thinking she was male. She has a darker than normal face pattern, fairly bold black streaks on her flanks,
and quite a bit of chestnut to her back, more like what I would see in a male.
But she definitely had a brood patch and must just be a female with bolder colored feathers.
We also had our 2nd AHY (after hatching year) Traill's Flycatcher on the 9th
with a molt limit in the tertials (s8 retained)
and had replaced the first 2 inner primary coverts possibly during a pre-alternate molt.
We had the pleasure of banding a beautiful ASY (after second year) male Baltimore Oriole on 13 June, our last day of spring monitoring. I can't seem to help myself taking pictures of these guys!
Thus ended our spring migration monitoring with 431 new birds processed and 780 birds handled. The rest of June and July we only band once/week to monitor our breeding birds.
Our first baby bird was captured on 20 June, a Carolina Wren,
followed by a Black-capped Chickadee with a yellow gape and very short bill
On the 26th our first HY cardinals and robins were banded. Young cardinals have very brown bills and we can't sex them until they start molting their body plumage. They don't bite quite as hard as the adults either thankfully!
Wing Island is a great place to raise young robins, so many berries and bugs.
Other birds on 26 June were a beautiful male Tree Swallow
but the best bird of the day had to be this Red-tailed Hawk brought to us by Alex Mueller who works at Wild Care, a wildlife rehab facility. They have been caring for this bird when it was having trouble flying but is all better now and ready for release. We agreed to band it to see if it is ever recovered. They make a cute pair don't they?
A big thank-you to all who helped out this month (in order of volunteer hours)- Ronald Kielb ,Jo-Anna Ghadban, Keenan Yakola, Gretchen Putonen, Carolyn Kennedy, and Alex Mueller.
The following is a list of birds seen, heard, or banded during the month of June.
Total birds: 244 Total species: 62
Total species of banded birds: 25 Birds/100 net-hours: 22
|American Black Duck|
|Red-tailed Hawk||1 NEW|
|Great Black-backed Gull|
|Great Horned Owl|
|Ruby-throated Hummingbird||1 NEW|
|Downy Woodpecker||1 NEW|
|Traill's Flycatcher||2 NEW|
|Great Crested Flycatcher||1 NEW|
|Tree Swallow||1 NEW|
|Black-capped Chickadee||5 NEW; 10 RECAPS|
|Carolina Wren||4 NEW; 1 RECAP|
|American Robin||4 NEW; 1 RECAP|
|Gray Catbird||37 NEW; 30 RECAPS; 1 UNBANDED|
|Cedar Waxwing||3 NEW|
|Red-eyed Vireo||2 NEW|
|Yellow Warbler||3 NEW; 3 RECAPS|
|Pine Warbler||1 NEW; 1 RECAP; 1 UNBANDED|
|Prairie Warbler||7 RECAPS|
|American Redstart||1 NEW|
|Common Yellowthroat||15 NEW; 48 RECAPS; 1 UNBANDED|
|Wilson's Warbler||1 NEW|
|Northern Cardinal||5 NEW; 1 RECAP; 1 UNBANDED|
|Eastern Towhee||1 NEW|
|Song Sparrow||6 NEW; 9 RECAPS|
|Red-winged Blackbird||1 NEW|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||2 NEW; 1 RECAP|
|Baltimore Oriole||3 NEW|
|American Goldfinch||15 NEW; 12 RECAPS|
We banded 5 days in July. We start very early and have our nets open by 5:20 am typically only banding about 4 hours due to heat. We were delighted to capture a young female Red-bellied Woodpecker, our first since 2009.
The bills of young cardinals are starting to turn orange.
On July 13th we had our first young male Baltimore Oriole. We differentiate the males from females by their long wings and orange-edged lesser and median coverts.
We hadn't heard or seen many Tufted Titmice, they must have been busy with tending young, but we did band our first HY on the 13th too. This young bird still had a yellow gape and lime-colored eye ring.
We also had our first Ovenbirds on this day, capturing both a male and female in breeding condition. I imagine they had just finished raising their young, probably in the Punkhorn Parklands, which is only a few miles away. The Punkhorn is approximately 869 acres of wooded town-owned land making it a perfect place for Ovenbirds to breed since they need at least 50 acres of contiguous land. The berries are mostly gone in the Punkhorn by mid summer so many of those birds breeding there come to Wing Island to enjoy the fall berries.
On the 17th we encountered this Brown-headed Cowbird and wondered what Song Sparrow or warbler raised it as its own since the females of this species lay their eggs in the nests of other species.
The body plumage was a dull black so we sexed it as male and the under wing coverts were darker.
We had a robin on the 25th that at first glance appeared male with her dark head contrasting greatly with her gray back, but she did have a brood patch although she had finished brooding her young.
Our first HY Eastern Phoebes also showed up on the 25th, the cinnamon-tipped coverts will be whitish when replaced. They are so cute!
We haven't seen or heard too many mockingbirds this summer but did have an adult female with a brood patch on the 31st. We could tell by the condition of her brood patch (whitish and dry) that she had finished brooding her young.
We've encountered a great deal of avian pox this summer, mostly in young birds as seen on the upper mandible of this young Common Yellowthroat. Most birds will clear the virus if they have a healthy immune system but if not they can succumb to this disease.
Our fall migration monitoring starts on 3 August. Many thanks to the following people who helped out with banding during the month of July- Keenan Yakola, Ron Kielb, Jo-Anna Ghadban, Karli Rogers, Gretchen Putonen, Jen Mook, Yianni Laskaris, Corey Accardo, and Judith Bruce.
The following is a list of birds seen, heard, or banded during the month of July.
Total birds: 384 Total species: 56
Total species of banded birds: 27 Birds/100 net-hours: 65
|American Woodcock||1 UNBANDED|
|Great Black-backed Gull|
|Downy Woodpecker||9 NEW; 3 RECAP|
|Eastern Phoebe||6 NEW|
|Great Crested Flycatcher|
|Black-capped Chickadee||19 NEW; 9 RECAP|
|Carolina Wren||10 NEW; 1 RECAP|
|American Robin||37 NEW; 1 UNBANDED|
|Cedar Waxwing||1 NEW|
|Common Yellowthroat||34 NEW; 26 RECAP|
|Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed Sparrow|
|Brown-headed Cowbird||1 NEW|
|Baltimore Oriole||5 NEW; 1 RECAP|
|American Goldfinch||2 NEW; 1 UNBANDED|
|House Sparrow||1 NEW|