After 68 straight days of migration monitoring, we reached the end. Oh I’m sure stragglers will continue to work their way south for the next couple of weeks but by and large the vast majority of birds has passed (or arrived here) to spend the Winter. Despite a very poor September, after October (which was fairly successful) we felt that we were in a position to hit the 3,000 birds banded mark for the season. All we needed was 248 birds or 35 birds a day over 7 days to hit the mark. But November wasn’t kind to us: due to rain and high winds we missed netting on 3 days; reduced the number of nets in use on 2 more; leaving just 2 full netting days. So we fell short……our banding total for the Fall was 2,943 of 84 species.
Here’s the way we finished off on the 7th:
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Hermit Thrush
1 Northern Cardinal
1 American Tree Sparrow
8 Dark-eyed Juncos
1 Purple Finch
1 House Finch
21 American Goldfinches
ET’s: 32 spp. (including both a white phase and a blue phase Snow Geese which flew over amidst a flock of Canadas)
Fall 2018 TOP TEN:
1/ American Goldfinch – 432
2/ Cedar Waxwing – 412
3/ Myrtle Warbler – 255
4/ White-throated Sparrow – 188
5/ Ruby-crowned Kinglet – 187
6/ Dark-eyed Junco – 174
7/ Golden-crowned Kinglet – 89
8/ American Robin – 71
9/ Song Sparrow – 70
10/ Northern Saw-whet Owl – 58
Looking at average for each species going back to 1999, we were below average for most warblers: Nashville, Chestnut-sided, Magnolia, Myrtle, Black-throated Green, Blackpoll, American Redstart, Ovenbird, and Common Yellowthroat. We were above average for just two species: Tennessee and Bay-breasted Warbler.
It was the same for sparrows/finches; we were below average for: American Tree, Chipping, Song, Lincoln’s, Swamp, White-throated, Eastern White-crowned, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, and American Goldfinch. We were above for Purple Finch and Field Sparrow.
With kinglets we had a split: Golden-crowned below; Ruby-crowned Above.
Our “Biggest Day” was October 18th when we banded 208 birds (91 or 44% of them Cedar Waxwings). We banded the most species (24) on October 14 – sort of unusual as we usually get the most variety in early September when warblers are on the move.
The banding program operates as well as it does because of the hard work and dedication of a LOT of volunteers. Volunteer hours (not to be confused with the hours put in by the designated banders) totaled 1,814!!! Thanks to everyone that contributed of their time, energy, enthusiasm, and…..baked goods!!
(If you would like spreadsheets with some of our totals, email me and I will send them to you.)