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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.

IMG_20190909_082044IMG_20190909_083558

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.

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