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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.

IMG_20190914_102919

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.

IMG_20190917_112919

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

 

IMG_20190918_132114

Our season totals at the end of week 7.

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