My backyard or is it their backyard?
Ever wonder about your neighbors that don’t speak any English? I have tried pishing (strange noise birders make to get the birds to come closer) those chickadees and I found that they only pish right back at me! Yesterday Young Naturalist J and I tried to learn about these seed hungry neighbors by doing some backyard banding. We were able to recapture 7 Black-capped Chickadees and 1 Slate-colored Junco.
I was ecstatic to learn that 3 of these Chickadees were first banded in my backyard in 2004 (over 38 months ago!). But, what was really cool was that Chickadee xx226 has been recaptured six other times before yesterdays encounter and was also my “very first” Chickadee that I had banded at my house (29 Aug 2004). Over the years we learned that xx226 was a female and born sometime in 2003 or earlier (making her 4 years old or older)! The other two 2004 recaptures were banded as hatch year birds (born that year and 3 years old) and they have also been regularly recaptured numerous times (xx251 six times, and xx232 nine times).
We had 3 other Chickadees who were originally banded in December of 2005 (about 23 months ago). Two were adults when I had first banded them and they could have been born in 2004 or earlier (making these Chickadees 3 years old or older). The other individual was known to have been born in 2005 (2 years old) and was very nippy (nipped at J numerous times!). The last Chickadee was first banded back on the 31st of March 2007 (hung around for the summer) before we recaptured it again!
Unlike my year-round Black-capped Chickadees who regularly visit my feeders . . . . the Slate-colored Junco (or Dark-eyed Junco) was known by James Audubon as a Snowbird!!! Here in Western New York we call Snowbirds those older folks (humans) that go to Florida for the winter . . . . because they “in a way” migrate south! This individual Slate-colored Junco (photo above) was lucky not eaten by that Cooper’s Hawk and we learned that he was first banded by me on 11 December 2005 as a hatch year bird. That means that this bird who was born in 2005 migrated to my house its first year of life, returned to their breeding grounds, etc.. and two years later returned to my house again!!
It is soo amazing what we can learn from these banded birds and I feel good reuniting with my non-English neighbors!
|Subscribe to Mon@rch||All Rights Reserved ©2006-2007|