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Week 11, 2019: An Exciting Ending

October 18, 2019

Our 2019 fall migration season has come to a conclusion this week. While being the slowest week of the season, it was a relatively productive one for this time of year with 93 birds banded of 16 species. It was the second busiest week 11 in the station’s history with an average of 15.5 birds banded per day compared to the 19-year average of 10.5. Our slowest day came on Monday with only 4 birds banded but the final day was surprisingly busy and diverse. Temperatures were more mild than the previous week but we still found frost on the nets on several mornings. We also recaptured 55 birds of 9 species this week.

Week 11 was full of surprises with three new species banded, especially after not catching any new species last week. The first, Swamp Sparrow, was expected as we typically catch a few of these uncommon migrants late in the season. We also banded a Purple Finch which – a big surprise as this species rarely ventures into the South Okanagan, and as such it was the first ever record for VLBO! The final new species was a Northern Shrike, only the 2nd record for VLBO! We even recaptured this same individual on the final day. Other highlights were a 3rd Brown Creeper, VLBO’s 10th record, and our 5th Sharp-shinned Hawk of the season.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet continued their streak with the top spot this week (30 banded), followed by Song Sparrow (22), and then distantly following was Lincoln’s Sparrow (8), and Marsh Wren (8). Other winter residents like ‘Oregon’ Dark-eyed Junco and Black-capped Chickadee (as recaps) were also prominent. Interestingly we banded 5 Common Yellowthroats which is quite high for mid-October as the average for week 11 is only 0.6. We also banded 2 more ‘Red-shafted’ Flickers, finishing the season with 9 which is a new station high.

Thanks to the influx of birds at the beginning of the month, this October was the busiest ever with 425 birds banded, which is well over twice the average of 188. We concluded the 2019 season with 3672 birds of 70 species banded and 965 recaptures of 36 species. All of these stats are new records for VLBO, making this by far the most productive season we’ve ever had!

Data entry and number crunching is now underway so keep an eye out for our final report in the coming weeks! Thanks again to everyone who volunteered their time and experience and to all the visitors who donated funds to support our station!

Below are the banding totals:

Week 11 Date
Species Totals 10 11 12 13 14 15
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 30 5 7 7 8 1 2
Song Sparrow 22 3 8 6 2   3
Lincoln’s Sparrow 8 3 3   1 1  
Marsh Wren 8   3 1 2 1 1
‘Oregon’ Junco 7   1   2 1 3
Common Yellowthroat 5   2 1 1   1
‘Red-shafted’ Flicker 2 1   1      
Swamp Sparrow 2 1         1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 1     1      
Black-capped Chickadee 1   1        
Brown Creeper 1   1        
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 1     1      
Northern Shrike 1     1      
Purple Finch 1 1          
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1           1
Spotted Towhee 1           1
Wilson’s Warbler 1 1          
Total 93 15 26 19 16 4 13
Species 16 7 8 7 6 4 8

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 11 Date
Species Totals 10 11 12 13 14 15
Song Sparrow 23 4 2 5 6 4 2
Black-capped Chickadee 13 2 4 2 4   1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 9 2   3 2 1 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 4   2 1 1    
Downy Woodpecker 2       1 1  
Oregon Junco 1           1
Orange-crowned Warbler 1       1    
Northern Shrike 1           1
Bewick’s Wren 1           1
Total 55 8 8 11 15 6 6
Species 9 4 4 5 7 4 7
IMG_20191015_142047

Our final banding totals for the fall of 2019.

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Week 10, 2019: Kinglets on the Move

October 10, 2019

Week 10 of our migration monitoring season was another record week as far as banding goes with 180 birds banded of 17 species and 62 recaptures of 8 species. The banding total far surpasses the previous record for week 10 (set in 2017) and is twice the station average. The week started in similar vein to the previous week with very high migrant activity around the station. Unfortunately the high numbers were so unexpected for this time of year that we ran out of bands for the smaller birds, which comprise the vast majority of what we are catching right now. New bands did not arrive in time which meant that we did not open the nets during the first two days (Thursday and Friday) of the week. Saturday continued right where Wednesday left off and presumably the two days in between would have produced similar numbers. The activity observed during census on those days certainly supports this speculation. As such, the week total should be much higher still. The season’s first frost on Saturday night brought a sudden halt to the deluge that had been present for the past week. But even though activity slowed down after Saturday, the numbers for the remainder of the week (up until Wednesday) are still well above average for October. The mean number of birds banded per day was 36 while the station average for week 10 is only 13.

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Clear and sunny but cool weather predominated this week.

No new species were banded this week but several interesting birds still produced highlights including our first Flicker Intergrade (a mixture of the ‘Red-shafted’ and ‘Yellow shafted’ subspecies) of the season, a very late MacGillivray’s Warbler, and our 4th Sharp-shinned Hawk!

Ruby-crowned Kinglets continued their surge from last week and finished far beyond any competitors for the top spot this week with 78 banded. Song Sparrow was a distant second (24), followed by Orange-crowned Warbler (20), which are finally trailing off after a very extended migration period and peak last week, and ‘Audubon’s’ Yellow-rumped Warbler (17).  Song Sparrow became the latest species to set a new season record (surpassing 240 set in 2016), ending the week with 242.

 

As usual, the top species were far above normal numbers this week, especially Ruby-crowned Kinglet which average about 9 for this week. Common Yellowthroat, Wilson’s Warbler, White-crowned Sparrow, and Myrtle Warbler were also above average for this late in the season, while Marsh Wren and Lincoln’s Sparrow were slightly below average, although these numbers would very likely have been higher had we not missed the first two days of the week.

IMG_20191009_100554

Song Sparrow #241 for the season broke the previous record for this species.

While our school programs ended last week, we did host a Vertebrate Zoology class from Capilano University in North Vancouver on Saturday. The students were lucky to be present for such an atypically busy day for early October, making their visit a big success!

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Students from Capilano University at the station.

We also conducted three nights of Saw-whet Owl banding this week, but were only successful on one of them, with 2 hatch-year owls banded the night of October 9th.

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Northern Saw-whet Owl

Below are the banding totals:

Week 10 Date
SPECIES Totals 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 78     34 9 24 9 2
Song Sparrow 24     9 5 2 4 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 20     12 3 2 2 1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 17     8 3 3 3  
‘Oregon’ Junco 7     2 1   2 2
White-crowned Sparrow 5     4 1      
Lincoln’s Sparrow 5     3 2      
Common Yellowthroat 4     4        
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 4     3   1    
Black-capped Chickadee 3           3  
Marsh Wren 2     2        
‘Unidentified’ Yellow-rumped Warbler 2       1 1    
Wilson’s Warbler 2     2        
American Goldfinch 1         1    
American Robin 1         1    
Downy Woodpecker 1           1  
Flicker ‘Intergrade’ 1           1  
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1           1  
‘Red-shafted’ Flicker 1     1        
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1         1    
Total 180 0 0 84 25 36 26 9
Species 17 0 0 11 7 7 8 4

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 10 Date
SPECIES Totals 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Song Sparrow 16     4 3 2 2 5
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 15     2 2 3 3 5
Black-capped Chickadee 10       1 1 4 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 7     2 3 1 1  
Common Yellowthroat 6     6        
Lincoln’s Sparrow 5     3 1     1
Oregon Junco 2     1       1
Downy Woodpecker 1     1        
Total 62 0 0 19 10 7 10 16
Species 8 0 0 7 5 4 4 5
IMG_20191009_134019

Our season banding totals after Week 10.

Week 9, 2019: A Sudden Surge

October 3, 2019

Week 9 of our migration monitoring season brought a big surprise as a massive late surge of migrants came through the station during a time when migration is typically winding down. As it turns out, the peak of migration during the 2019 season was actually this week, and not during week 7 and 8 as expected. We banded 548 birds of 24 species which is over four times the average for week 9 and almost three times the previous high for the week. It’s also the second highest of the season, not far behind our record opening week. The week started with two relatively average days before activity picked up on the weekend and peaked with our second and fourth busiest days of the season on Sunday (125 banded) and Monday (133 banded). We actually had four consecutive days in a row with over 100 total captures which is a rare thing for VLBO. We also recaptured 129 birds of 18 species which is the highest recap week total of the season. The weather this week was uncharacteristically cold, gloomy and wet, which probably played a big role in the number of birds stopping at the station. During more typically clear and mild weather in other years, many of these birds are presumably passing overhead without stopping. The sudden onset of cold and snow in the surrounding hills likely triggered many birds to move out.

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Gloomy dynamic skies graces the station this week

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Snow overnight at higher elevations was alarming for birds and people alike!

While numbers were high, species diversity was quite low compared to earlier in the season, though we still tied the record for species banded during week 9 with 24. However, the biggest push came from Audubon’s Warbler (112), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (92), Orange-crowned Warbler (87) and Common Yellowthroat (77). Ruby-crowned Kinglet should actually hold the top spot by far, but the big numbers this week were so unexpected that we unfortunately ran out of the band size that fits this species after banding 50 on Monday. We had to release an additional 91 Ruby-crowned Kinglets unbanded which means their total for the week should be around 180, considering their low recapture rate. This is completely unprecedented as the VLBO season average for this species is only 40! Needless to say, we passed the season record for Ruby-crowned Kinglets on Thursday, then doubled it by Monday and would have tripled it by Wednesday. This also means the banding total for the week should be higher still and would have been the highest of the season if we were able to band all the kinglets netted.
Interestingly, Common Yellowthroat were dwindling at the end of last week when suddenly numbers increased again and culminated with a whopping 34 banded on Wednesday!


Aside from the sheer number of birds, several new species for the season brought highlight moments. The biggest of these was when an American Kestrel got caught in net 4 on Monday! This is a first for VLBO and a big surprise as we don’t even see many kestrels at the station. Other new species for the season were White-throated Sparrow, and Pine Siskin, while a Slate-colored Junco, our 2nd Cassin’s Vireo, 2nd and 3rd Townsend’s Warbler, and 3rd Sharp-shinned Hawk were also highlights.
In addition to the top four species, the migrant waves also brought in good numbers of Marsh Wrens, Song Sparrows, Lincoln’s Sparrows, ‘Myrtle’ Warblers, Wilson’s Warblers, and even a few more Dusky Flycatchers which is quite late in the season.


We also surpassed the milestone of 3000 birds banded this week, concluding with an even 3400. After the first two days of October we’ve already almost surpassed last year’s dismal October total. Who knows how the rest of the month will pan out?

Below are the banding totals:

Week 8 Date
Species Total 26 27 28 29 30 1 2
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 112 21 5 24 33 18 5 6
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 92 6 4 10 22 50    
Orange-crowned Warbler 87 9 3 4 38 19 9 5
Common Yellowthroat 77 1 3 5 7 14 34 13
Lincoln’s Sparrow 45 2 4 2 2 5 19 11
Song Sparrow 32   7 3 2 7 10 3
Marsh Wren 23   1 1 1 3 13 4
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 21   2 6 9     4
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 12 1   4 4 2   1
Oregon Junco 10         4 4 2
Wilson’s Warbler 9 1 1   3 1 1 2
Spotted Towhee 5   1     2 2  
Dusky Flycatcher 4 1   1   2    
American Goldfinch 2             2
White-crowned Sparrow 2       1   1  
Pine Siskin 2         2    
Townsend’s Warbler 2       1 1    
White-throated Sparrow 2   1         1
American Kestrel 1         1    
American Robin 1   1          
Black-capped Chickadee 1           1  
Cassin’s Vireo 1         1    
Gray Catbird 1     1        
Red-shafted Flicker 1       1      
Savannah Sparrow 1       1      
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1     1        
Slate-coloured Junco 1         1    
Total 548 42 33 62 125 133 99 54
Species 24 7 11 10 12 15 10 12

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 8 Date
SPECIES Totals 26 27 28 29 30 1 2
Orange-crowned Warbler 38 1 2 1 9 10 9 6
Song Sparrow 18 2 1 2 3 4 4 2
Common Yellowthroat 17 1   1 1 3 4 7
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 14 1 1 2 2 1 2 5
Lincoln’s Sparrow 9   2 1 3 1 1 1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 7     1 1 2   3
Wilson’s Warbler 4   2     1   1
Black-capped Chickadee 3   1 1       1
Downy Woodpecker 3 1     1 1    
American Goldfinch 2         1   1
White-crowned Sparrow 2       1 1    
Marsh Wren 2             2
Spotted Towhee 2   1       1  
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 2       1 1    
American Robin 1         1    
Fox Sparrow 1       1      
Gray Catbird 1           1  
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 1       1      
Oregon Junco 1             1
Red-shafted Flicker 1         1    
Total 129 6 10 9 24 28 22 30
Species 18 5 7 7 9 12 7 11
IMG_20191002_141557

Our season totals at the end of Week 9. Red stars indicate record numbers.

Week 8, 2019: A Week of Milestones

September 27, 2019

Peak migration continued through the past week (Sept 19-25) as we banded 440 birds of 29 species, which is the second highest total for week 8 and the highest species total ever! This equates to about 62 new birds per day which is more than twice the station average for this time of year. The week started with our second biggest day of the year with 129 new birds and 21 birds recaptured. Big numbers continued the next day with 94 birds and then gradually declined from there to more average levels by the end of the week. Mostly rainy weather made for challenging banding conditions as we had to close our nets on several occasions, but it likely also contributed to the high numbers. We hit a huge milestone on Tuesday as we passed the record for total birds banded in a season, set in 2006! We are now entering uncharted territory for VLBO as we approach 3000 birds banded, finishing the week with 2852. Our species total now sits at 64 which is also nearing the record of 66.

Highlights this week were many and among them six new species for the season: Townsend’s Warbler – only the 8th ever banded at VLBO, Cooper’s Hawk (12th record), Cassin’s Vireo, Fox Sparrow, Brown Creeper (8th and 9th records), and Pacific Wren! Other highlights were our third Belted Kingfisher, and two Least Flycatchers and a Western Wood-pewee, both species rather late for week 8.

Orange-crowned Warbler is once again the top banded species this week with 78, and we’ve now banded well over 300 for the season. Second place goes to ‘Audubon’s’ Yellow-rumped Warbler (61), followed closely by Common Yellowthroat (59) and Lincoln’s Sparrow (55). We set a new season record for Common Yellowthroat this week, surpassing the 262 banded in 2016. Even though species diversity was relatively high this week, these four species comprised over 50% of the birds caught. Generally, the number of species caught is quite low this time of year, (with an average 0f 11.5 species per day), compared to earlier in the season.  In addition to the aforementioned species, Ruby-crowned Kinglet were also very abundant this week with 5 times the average number banded. A new station record was also set for Dusky Flycatcher (24 banded after this week) which were well above average, as were White-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and Wilson’s Warbler this week. The once abundant Gray Catbird and Yellow Warbler have all but fallen off, which is to be expected.

School programs continued this week as we hosted elementary school children from across the South Okanagan.

Below are the banding totals:

Week 8 Date
Species Total 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Orange-crowned Warbler 78 20 15 11 7 16 6 3
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 61 15 12 5 16 1 5 7
Common Yellowthroat 59 22 19 10 5 3    
Lincoln’s Sparrow 55 18 11 10 4 5 5 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 49 16 7 2 9 2 8 5
‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow 37 6 10 9   5 4 3
Song Sparrow 34 9 11 6 3 3 1 1
Wilson’s Warbler 13 9 2 2        
Marsh Wren 7 2   2 3      
Dusky Flycatcher 6 5 1          
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 6 1   1 1   3  
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 5 1 2       1 1
American Goldfinch 4     1 2     1
Black-capped Chickadee 2         2    
Brown Creeper 2             2
House Finch 2 1     1      
Least Flycatcher 2 1   1        
Oregon Junco 2     1     1  
Red-shafted Flicker 2 1     1      
Savannah Sparrow 2   1       1  
Yellow Warbler 2   1 1        
American Robin 1   1          
Belted Kingfisher 1         1    
Cassin’s Vireo 1         1    
Cooper’s Hawk 1     1        
Fox Sparrow 1           1  
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1           1  
Pacific Wren 1   1          
Spotted Towhee 1         1    
Townsend’s Warbler 1 1            
Western Wood-pewee 1 1            
Total 440 129 94 63 52 40 37 25
Species 29 15 13 14 10 11 10 8

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 8 Date
SPECIES Totals 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
Common Yellowthroat 25 4 1 3 7 6 3 1
Orange-crowned Warbler 16 6 1 2 2 1 2 2
Lincoln’s Sparrow 15 2 4 2 2 2 1 2
Song Sparrow 15 3 5 2 3   1 1
Black-capped Chickadee 11   2 1 2 4   2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 10 1 1 1 2 3 2  
Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow 8   1 3 2   2  
Wilson’s Warbler 8 4 1 1 1 1    
Gray Catbird 2   2          
American Goldfinch 1           1  
Hammond’s Flycatcher 1 1            
Marsh Wren 1   1          
Yellow-breasted Chat 1           1  
Total 114 21 19 15 21 17 13 8
Species 14 7 10 8 8 6 8 5

 

Week 7; 2019: Calm and then the storm

September 21, 2019

Week 7 (Sept 12-18) of the 2019 migration monitoring season was a tale of two parts: an early-week lull and a late week surge, separated by a complete wash out. The week started well with 51 birds banded on Thursday but then declined to 10 new birds on Saturday which was very surprising. Sunday was completely rained out but that set up the perfect conditions for a very big day on Monday, with 155 birds banded – the biggest day of the season and second biggest in the station’s history! For the week we banded a total of 385 birds of 24 species and recaptured 71 of 13 species. The banding total is the second highest ever for week 7, and almost twice the 18-year average. Mid-September is usually the peak of migration for us as September 16 and 17 are the days with the highest average number of

birds banded of the season, aside from August 1. Rainy periods throughout the second half of the week brought in waves and waves of migrants. Wednesday could very well have been another 100+ bird day if we were able to open for the full 6 hours – we banded 65 birds with just over 30 net hours, only about 1/3 of our standard total!

Aside from the sheer number of birds passing through, highlights were another Tennessee Warbler (the 4th of the season) our record 11th Yellow-breasted Chat, 2 Hammond’s Flycatchers, a new species for the season, and 3 MacGillivray’s Warblers, which we hadn’t banded since mid-August.

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Variation in the plumage of Orange-crowned Warblers.

Lincoln’s Sparrow (84) and Orange-crowned Warbler (81) were neck in neck for the most banded species of the week, followed by Wilson’s Warbler (53) and White-crowned Sparrow (35). Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowed Sparrow and Wilson’s Warblers all saw big increases from single digit numbers last week, especially Wilson’s Warbler which jumped from 1 banded last week to 53 this week! In fact, Wilson’s Warbler numbers were only about average for the season and below average week, but this week we passed the season record of 76 set last year! The only species that was noticeably missing or below average was Pine Siskin, which are typically banded in small numbers during this week. Most species, particularly the top four, as well as Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow Warbler and Dusky Flycatcher were way above average.

OSCA’s school programs also started up this week which made for a continuous flurry of activity at the station! These will continue during week days through the following week as well.

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Below are the banding totals:

Week 7 Day
Species Total 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Lincoln’s Sparrow 84 11 2 3 46 15 7
Orange-crowned Warbler 81 11 5 1 35 14 15
Wilson’s Warbler 53 3 30 9 11
‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow 35 6 1 15 11 2
Common Yellowthroat 32 6 5 1 13 4 3
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 19 2 4 2 4 7
Song Sparrow 17 6 2 3 4 2
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 13 2 4 3 4
Yellow Warbler 11 3 4 3 1
Gray Catbird 6 1 4 1
Dusky Flycatcher 5 1 4
Marsh Wren 4 1 3
MacGillivray’s Warbler 3 1 2
Spotted Towhee 3 1 1 1
Warbling Vireo 3 2 1
Hammond’s Flycatcher 2 1 1
‘Myrtle’ Warbler 2 1 1
Savannah Sparrow 2 2
Swainson’s Thrush 2 2
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 2 1 1
Black-capped Chickadee 1 1
Downy Woodpecker 1 1
House Finch 1 1
Tennessee Warbler 1           1  
Willow Flycatcher 1 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 1 1
Total 385 51 29 10 0 155 75 65
Species 24 9 10 6 0 13 14 13

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 7 Day
SPECIES Totals 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Orange-crowned Warbler 21 5 4 2 5 3 2
Common Yellowthroat 17 3 2 3 7 1 1
Song Sparrow 10 1 1 2 2 1 3
Black-capped Chickadee 5 2 1 1 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 5 2 1 2
Gray Catbird 3 1 2
Tennessee Warbler 2 1 1
Wilson’s Warbler 2 1 1
Yellow-breasted Chat 2 1 1
American Goldfinch 1 1
Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow 1 1
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 1
Yellow Warbler 1 1
Total 71 12 12 13 0 17 9 8
Species 13 5 8 7 0 6 6 5

 

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Our season totals at the end of week 7.

Week 6; 2019: Rain grounds warblers

September 12, 2019

Songbird migration in the South Okanagan continued to gather momentum this past week as cooler temperatures and periods of rain brought periods of high bird activity to the station. Rain on Sunday and Tuesday caused us to lose 1.5 days of mist netting but despite that we still managed to band 224 birds of 22 species and recaptured 63 of 15 species. This banding total is the second highest ever for week 6 during what is usually a slower week leading up to the peak of migration, with a station average of 165 birds. Species diversity has declined considerably, as is typical this time of year with more and more species departing. The week started relatively slow with about 30 birds banded per day during the first three days but that increased to around 50 birds after the rain on Sunday. That day we were only able to open some nets for 10 minutes before the rain continued, but we did catch one new Song Sparrow during that time.

We passed several milestones this week including our 2000th bird of the season on Wednesday, which is the earliest we’ve ever reached this total! We also banded our 9th and 10th Yellow-breasted Chat which sets a new record for most chats banded in one season. Other highlights were a Tennessee Warbler, a rare migrant and the 3rd of the season, our second Sharp-shinned Hawk, and individual late Northern Waterthrush and Western Tanager.

Orange-crowned Warblers retained the top spot as most banded species with 56. Common Yellowthroats are increasing in number with 44 banded, and are now third highest overall. The other tops species this week are Lincoln’s Sparrow (40) and Song Sparrow (25). Yellow Warblers have slowed with only 12 banded this week as have Gray Catbirds, and Willow Flycatchers are almost absent now. Most species of warbler and sparrows were banded in above average numbers this week except for Wilson’s Warbler with only 1 banded. Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Willow Flycatcher are also above average.

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Below are the banding totals:

Week 6
Species Totals 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Orange-crowned Warbler 56 4 3 7 16 16 10
Common Yellowthroat 44 8 3 4 9 4 16
Lincoln’s Sparrow 40 4 10 6 7 2 11
Song Sparrow 25 3 8 6 1 2 2 3
Yellow Warbler 12 1 3 7 1
‘Audubon’s’ Warbler 10 1 1 6 2
Gray Catbird 7 2 1 2 1 1
‘Gambel’s’ White-crowned Sparrow 3 1 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 3 1 2
Willow Flycatcher 3 1 2
Yellow-breasted Chat 3 1 2
Dusky Flycatcher 2 1 1
Marsh Wren 2 1 1
Savannah Sparrow 2 1 1
Spotted Towhee 2 2
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 2 1 1
Warbling Vireo 2 2
Northern Waterthrush 1 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1 1
Tennessee Warbler 1 1
Western Tanager 1 1
Wilson’s Warbler 1 1
Total # 224 27 27 32 1 53 34 50
Species # 22 9 7 9 1 12 9 9
mean/day 32 50.8 50.2 49.7 48.5 48.6 48.2 48.3

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

SPECIES Totals 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Orange-crowned Warbler 15 1 2 1 3 4 4
Song Sparrow 14 1 2 2 5 1 3
Common Yellowthroat 12 1 2 2 6 1
Gray Catbird 4 1 1 1 1
Willow Flycatcher 3 2 1
Black-capped Chickadee 2 1 1
Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow 2 1 1
Lincoln’s Sparrow 2 2
Spotted Towhee 2 1 1
Yellow Warbler 2 1 1
American Goldfinch 1 1
Bewick’s Wren 1 1
Downy Woodpecker 1 1
Marsh Wren 1 1
Swainson’s Thrush 1 1
Total # 63 9 8 8 0 19 8 11
Species # 15 8 5 6 0 7 5 6
IMG_20190911_133313

Our banding totals at the end of Week 6.

Week 5, 2019: Early Fall Arrivals

September 4, 2019

Bird activity was on the rise again as August came to an end this week with a considerable increase in birds banded from last week. We banded 265 birds, which sets a new record for Week 5, and 28 species. In addition to that, we recaptured 84 birds of 12 species. These numbers are well above average but not quite at the level of the beginning of our season. The otherwise relatively slow week was punctuated by a busy weekend with both days seeing around 70 birds netted. That finishes off the best August VLBO has ever had on record with 1654 birds of 54 species banded with a daily mean of 53.4 birds banded and 15 species!  This far surpasses the previous record set last year of 1091 banded. The weather was mostly clear and dry except for some heavy rain Tuesday night which left a lot of moisture at the station.

New species this week were a couple of earlier arrivals – a Ruby-crowned Kinglet and an ‘Oregon” Junco, and an always exciting bird to catch, a Sharp-shinned Hawk! Other highlights were our 4th Bewick’s Wren, three Lazuli Buntings, and single late Rufous Hummingbird and Northern Waterthrush.

Orange-crowned Warbler is the most banded species with 42, followed by Lincoln’s Sparrow (37), which have drastically increased this week, Common Yellowthroat (33), and Yellow Warbler (32). These are all at least double the average for Week 5. White-crowned Sparrows have appeared in good numbers while Willow Flycatcher and Cedar Waxing dwindled.

IMG_20190902_073738

We regularly catch two different Orange-crowned Warbler subspecies – Vermivora celata orestera (on the left) and V.c. lutescens (on the left).

Below are the banding totals:

Week 5 Totals   DAY
Species Totals 29 30 31 1 2 3 4
Orange-crowned Warbler 42 6 5 3 11 9 4 4
Lincoln’s Sparrow 37   4 8 3 2 11 9
Common Yellowthroat 33 3 1 10 6 3 5 5
Yellow Warbler 32 7 5 9 5 1 2 3
Gray Catbird 29   4 9 8 1 5 2
Song Sparrow 20 3 4 1 5 2 3 2
Willow Flycatcher 11 1 1 2 3   1 3
Gambel’s White-crowned Sparrow 8 5 2   1      
Audubon’s Warbler 6     2 4      
Cedar Waxwing 6   1 3 2      
Spotted Towhee 6 1     1   2 2
Wilson’s Warbler 6     1 1   2 2
American Goldfinch 4 2   1     1  
Black-capped Chickadee 4 1   2   1    
Lazuli Bunting 3 1   1 1      
Savannah Sparrow 3           2 1
Marsh Wren 2       1 1    
Swainson’s Thrush 2     2        
Veery 2   1 1        
Bewick’s Wren 1       1      
House Finch 1     1        
Northern Waterthrush 1             1
Oregon Junco 1             1
Red-eyed Vireo 1 1       3    
Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1       1      
Rufous Hummingbird 1     1        
Sharp-shinned Hawk 1         1    
Unidentified Yellow-rumped Warbler 1       1      
Total 265 31 28 57 55 21 38 35
Species 28 8 8 15 15 7 9 10

 

The recapture totals are as follows:

Week 5 Totals   Day
SPECIES Totals 29 30 31 1 2 3 4
Common Yellowthroat 25 2 6 6 7   2 2
Song Sparrow 14 1 6 1 2 1 2 1
Gray Catbird 13 2   6 1 2   2
Orange-crowned Warbler 12 1 2   3 3 2 1
Black-capped Chickadee 7   1 2   3   1
Willow Flycatcher 4 1 1   1     1
Marsh Wren 2           1 1
Spotted Towhee 2 1         1  
Yellow-breasted Chat 2 2            
Bewick’s Wren 1           1  
MacGillivray’s Warbler 1 1            
Swainson’s Thrush 1       1      
Species 84 11 16 15 15 9 9 9
Totals 12 8 5 4 6 4 6 7