Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Myrtles, Myrtles, everywhere!

Today I assisted with our Wetland Investigation Network (WIN) school program at the Observatory. Kim Kaufman, Chris Knoll and I had the pleasure of teaching 70+ 2nd graders about bird migration. We captured a Rose-breasted Grosbeak which excited the kids!
At the Navarre banding site in 9.5 hours we banded 592 new birds and 42 recaptures. Fifteen warbler species netted with 17 species seen or heard on the site. In the strong east wind the Myrtle Warblers were thick! I heard they were also thick on the Magee Boardwalk. Highlights for the day were the first Prothonotary Warblers, Blackpoll Warbler, and another Yellow Palm Warbler. Observed on the site were also a Whip-poor-will and Pine Siskin.

Top 7 species:
Myrtle Warbler – 374
White-throated Sparrow – 52
Nashville Warbler – 33
Western Palm Warbler – 23
Red-winged Blackbird – 19
Yellow Warbler – 12
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher – 9
It has been a good year for Blue-gray Gnatcatchers!

We are not sure why the Myrtles were so numerous but apparently they gravitated to the beach ridges today for some reason. The temperatures were still cold with wind off the lake but that did not keep them away today! Maybe it was the good food resources?!

There is always something new to discover. Nature keeps reminding us of this.

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