Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Observatory Migration Research Has Begun April 15-21st

The spring migration banding research has begun for the Black Swamp Bird Observatory, and there was no easing into the season. We had 10 species of warblers this past week including Orange-crowned Warbler (OCWA), Nashville Warbler (NAWA), Yellow Warbler (YEWA), Myrtle Warbler (MYWA), Black-throated Green Warbler (BTNW), Pine Warbler (PIWA),Western Palm Warbler (WPWA), Black-and-White Warbler (BAWW), Louisiana Waterthrush (LOWA), and Common Yellowthroat (COYE).

Soon we'll have to say good bye to the wintering birds such as American Tree Sparrow and the early March species like the Fox Sparrow (FOSP), Golden-crowned Kinglet (GCKI), and everyone's friend the Winter Wren (WIWR). But we'll open the door for the next group of species arriving in the Lake Erie Marsh Region.
FOSP: note reddish tail 

FOSP: note bi-colored bill

GCKI: male with orange and gold surrounded by black on head
Male Red-breasted Nuthatch (RBNU) - male has black cap and eye stripe
The first wave of migrants will be arriving soon with a warm burst of wind from the SW (Average 24 April). We have had some pre-wave migrants along with  Hermit Thrushes (HETH) rolling into the area as well as male MYWAs. With the strong SW wind last week we had a few individuals show up that won't peak until the second wave such as Yellow Warbler, Scarlet Tanager, and  Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Other first-wave birds include bird species that over fly their normal breeding range. These include species that we see a few of in mid-to-late April such as the Louisiana Waterthrush (LOWA) and Summer Tanager (SUTA). However, the Summer Tanager has been expanding its breeding range north so its natural history is changing presently.

Louisiana Waterthrush (LOWA) with the thick white eye stripe and bubble gum colored legs.
LOWA also has clear undertail coverts, while the Northern Waterthrush has
 brown streaking in that area. 
Some Highlights for the week:
White-eyed Vireo (WEVI)

Male American Kestrel (AMKE)

Black-throated Green Warbler (BTNW)

Male Rose-breasted Grosbeak (RBGR)

RBGR: note white wing markings at the base of the primary feathers.
Sharp-shinned Hawk (SSHA
Second-year (SY) with vertical streaks on chest.
Adult male Summer Tanager (SUTA)

Look for the first wave of migrants this coming week to occur with male Myrtle Warblers, White-throated Sparrow, male Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Hermit Thrushes bringing in the lead. Check Kenn Kaufman's Birding Pages for up to date migration reports and predictions. http://cranecreekbirding.blogspot.com/
Get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of spring!

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