Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Highlights

The fall migration had a slow start in August and September at the Navarre Banding Station; however, by the time October rolled around, migration kicked in, and the station recorded numbers above average. This followed a record spring banding total. The tremendous effort of day-in-day out migration monitoring could not be conducted at the Navarre Marsh station without the great help and time given by the Observatory's volunteers. Thank you for all you do!
Mary Lou with her signature bird (Brown Thrasher)

The Sunday crew of Marlene, Jay, and Mark 

Deb and Julie helping at the mist net
(There is a mist net between the two ladies, but it's hard to see)
John and others like him are always fixing our equipment

The grand highlight(s) of the fall season comes with the recapture of six Blackpoll Warblers (BLPW), that we had banded in previous years. The oldest was at least six years old and still flying! Yes, at least 6 times this bird has made the trip down and back from Venezuala/Brazil to the boreal forests of Canada. The other five birds were banded in these years: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 (2)

BLPW- Fall Plumage

One of the greatest rewards of bird banding is learning more about their life history. BSBO's research documents that stopover habitats in the Lake Erie Marshes are important for the Blackpoll Warbler (and so many other migrant birds) each fall. This year, the weather must have been just right and a vast representative of the world Blackpoll population dropped into the small area of NW Ohio that we call home. BSBO uses this information to raise awareness of the value of stopover for migratory birds and to build local, regional, and national support for habitat conservation. If you would like to support the research and conservation efforts of Black Swamp Bird Observatory, please visit the BSBO WEBSITE for ways that you can help.

The highlight of the last day of station operations and
the feathered harbinger of winter...
American Tree Sparrow (ATSP)
With winter around the corner, just remember that spring is at the next bend. For some it is resignation, for some a welcome anticipation. But winter is a part of Ohio's seasons and there are still birds to search out and admire at your feeders or nearby parks. Some of these do not get the attention they deserve. So here they are for you to enjoy.
Male Northern Cardinal (NOCA)

White-throated Sparrow (WTSP)

Carolina Wren (CARW)

CARW back-notice long bill and distinctive eye stripe

Hermit Thrush (HETH)- a short-distance migrant. Some stay around in winter.

Take time to enjoy the birds and consider the fantastic journeys they have made and what it takes for them to make those journeys.