Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fall Migration has started...

The start of fall migration songbird monitoring is slow. No more than 15 birds captured a day for on average of six hours with 21 nets. The winds have been out of the Southwest or East which is not the best for fall migration here along the lake where the Navarre ridge juts out into Lake Erie toward the East.

Though the winds are from the wrong direction, we have managed to capture a couple migrant birds each day. For the five days of operation we banded 75 birds including 23 species. Seven warbler species were banded (Yellow, Magnolia, American Redstart, Prothonotary, Ovenbird, Common Yellowthroat, and Canada).

The first basic American Redstart males we are seeing look like females. The feathers in the axillaries are brighter orange contrasting with the surrounding lemon yellow under the wings. Females have all lemon yellow feathers in the axillaries and under the wing. Adult American Redstarts are easy to identify since they are black and orange.

We have caught a couple immature Yellow-shafted flickers (Northern Flicker). One we captured had its prebasic breast feathers growing in. Notice the juvenile feathers are loose textured and the newly growing ones are more structured.

Looking forward to more fall like winds to help the birds move south.
Enjoy the early season!

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