Sunday, May 8, 2011

First days of Biggest Week in American Birding bring the birds!

Navarre Marsh Banding Station Update, from Research Director Mark Shieldcastle and Conservation Director Julie Shieldcastle: What a week this has been for birds and birdwatchers in the marsh region - THE WARBLER CAPITAL OF THE WORLD! Friday and Saturday alone resulted in 1,858 birds banded! Words cannot describe the volume of birds that poured into the critical stopover of the Lake Erie Marshes.  We are only going to give some of the highlights, that's how good it was!And, there's a lot more birds to come!  You may want to start planning your illness now so you can call in sick next week; the weather looks favorable for the second wave to hit mid-week. 
After banding hundreds of thousands of birds during his career, on Friday, May 6th, BSBO Research Director Mark Shieldcastle banded his first LeConte's Sparrow! Banding allows us to better understand the overall ecology of birds, but it also allows us to appreciate the individual and its fine colors. Take a look at this sparrow!
Can you believe that some people call
sparrows "Little Brown Jobs?!"  

This past week (May 2-8th) brought the second pulse of the First Wave with dominants of Myrtle, Nashville, and Western Palm Warblers. On Friday, May 6th we had 101 species seen or heard in the Navarre Marsh. It is always nice to see the vanguard of some species who are yet to come in great numbers like the Magnolia Warbler (MAWA). Here is one with its First Wave counterpart, the Myrtle Warbler:

We banded so many Myrtle Warblers that one of our fabulous volunteers that spent two full days holding bird bags now thinks her name is "Myrtle".
Here are some of the birds that headlined the week:
Yellow-breasted Chat (YBCH) See that black mouth lining? That makes this a male.  Females have pink mouth lining.  (Isn't that cool?!)  

And, here's a touch of the sunshine to chase the clouds away!
Prothonotary Warbler (PROW)

A Second-Year Male Summer Tanager (SUTA)
visited us Saturday May 7th.

Brewster's Warbler (BRWA)-dominant gene cross for
Blue-winged X Golden-winged Warbler.

Everyone at BSBO would like to thank the incredible volunteers who gave so much time and effort to this, and many other projects, this week. Without all of these wonderful people, BSBO would not exist. 

If you can get outside, GO BIRDING! and enjoy the bird bounties of spring in The Warbler Capital of the World! For more information on spring migration visit Kenn Kaufman's Best Bets for Birding and the BSBO Website for the daily banding totals.

***Answer to the last quiz bird for those who are not on FaceBook: female Hooded Warbler.