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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bird Banding: Mid-season Update

While this mid-season update comes more than 80% through the season, we had exciting news of a Tennessee Warbler banded this past Monday at the North Branch Nature Center that we couldn't wait to share. Tennessee Warblers breed in Vermont only in the Northeast Kingdom and are more common further north in the boreal forest. The individual we encountered was likely an early migrant, already on its way to central America. While our banding protocol is catered to study breeding birds at NBNC, it is not uncommon for us to encounter early migrants and other species that are dispersing from their breeding grounds towards the end of the banding season.

Also typical this time of year is an influx in hatch-year birds (those born during this current breeding season). Hatch-year birds drastically outnumbered adults during our most recent banding session. Another highlight of our morning on July 27th was our first Rose-breasted Grosbeak. We commonly hear this species during banding sessions but this first year male was still a big surprise.

This coming Saturday, August 1st, will be our final banding session of the year and we invite the public to come observe. Stop by anytime between 6:30 and 11:00 a.m. to get a behind the scenes glimpse of banding in action. We catch, measure and band a variety of songbirds to study their survivorship and reproductive success. A rare chance to see beautiful birds up close.

Full results from our July 27 banding session are below:

  • Downy Woodpecker - 1
  • Traill's Flycatcher (most likely Alder) - 3
  • Eastern Phoebe - 1
  • Red-eyed Vireo - 2
  • Veery - 1
  • Gray Catbird - 5
  • Ovenbird - 1
  • Tennessee Warbler - 1
  • Common Yellowthroat - 7
  • American Redstart - 2
  • Chestnut-sided Warbler - 3
  • Cedar Waxwing - 1
  • Song Sparrow - 6
  • White-throated Sparrow - 1
  • Rose-breasted Grosbeak - 1