Opening of the SWAT Station
First bird caught at the SWAT station – Gray Catbird!
Today (Wednesday) was the very first day of banding at the SWAT – MAPS (Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship) banding station. I had to reschedule it after a storm had moved through on Monday morning and I felt bad about rescheduling since a few birding friends were willing to help me out with the banding (since I didn’t know how many birds that I would catch). So I ended up banding alone today. Temperatures ranged from 41F to 58F and we did have a very brief shower around 9am. It had been foggy all morning and the sun didn’t peak out until 10:30am.
One of the Net Lanes at the SWAT Site.
The banding station captured 14 different species of birds and banded 30 different individuals. Since this was our first time ever banding at this location, all captures were newly banded birds. We did have a cuckoo species (got out before I could get to it) which isn’t included in the list of birds caught.
We had many wonderful birds singing around the nets but their were very few moving around. I hope next time to add Great-crested Flycatcher, Eastern Kingbird, Yellow-billed Cuckoo etc.. to the lists of birds banded at this site. I blame the low numbers on the weather starting off cold, very foggy and then having light rain (for 10 minutes) half way through the banding session. We caught a good majority of the birds once the conditions became better later in the day.
second year male American Redstart
The highlights of the day had to have been the Baltimore Oriole, Magnolia Warbler and Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. I had to release the Ruby Throated Hummingbird unbanded since my permits do not allow me to band them. I also enjoyed banding and looking at the size difference of both the Downy and Hairy Woodpecker. The Swamp Sparrows were also fun since I don’t get to band many of them at my other site.
Ruby Throated Hummingbird
The Willow and Alder Flycatcher had previously been known as the “Traill’s Flycatcher”. Then Ornithologist was able to finally prove that the “Traill’s Flycatcher” was really two different species. Both have different songs and live in two different habitats. Although, they are now looked at as two distinct species, they are still almost impossible to identify when in the hand. The CLDC site have Alder Flycatchers vocalizing and I strongly believe they are what I am use to banding. Although their had been an Alder vocalizing at the SWAT site, majority of the Empidonox singing were Willows. Since these three I had banded didn’t sing in my hand, I had to list them as “Traill’s Flycatcher”.
I can’t wait to see what birds we end up banding over the next 10 years at this site. It truly has the potential to be an amazing banding location and many educational opportunities. More pictures can be found on my flickr site.