Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Highlights May 6th - 12th 2013

The birds did not fail to awe during the Biggest Week in American Birding. Nor did the birds of the second wave fail to appear within their window of opportunity (May 7th- 13th). The southwest winds during the latter part of the week did produce the dominants of female Myrtle Warblers (MYWA) and Ruby-crowned Kinglets (RCKI) and male Magnolia Warblers ((MAWA) with a sprinkle of color from the Rose-breasted Grosbeaks and Baltimore Orioles.

One of the pieces of information acquired from this long-term research project is the return of breeding birds to the marsh region of which we capture and document their site fidelity to this important habitat. This week, we captured a Yellow Warbler (YEWA) that was at least eight (8) years old and two that were six (6) years old. A male Common Yellowthroat also returned for his fifth year. This is quite a feat for birds that make a 4,000 plus round trip migration to Central America and back to our marshes each year! It is estimated that most warblers live an average of 3 years, but some definitely beat the odds.

We were fortunate to capture a female Orchard Oriole (OROR) and Baltimore Oriole (BAOR) at the same time, so here they are for a comparison.

Female OROR

Female BAOR

Front of OROR and BAOR female
Backs of OROR and BAOR females
A Red-bellied Woodpecker was encountered in our mist nets this week. This is the fourth one we've banded this spring, along with one previously banded bird we recaptured (past record was 2 in a given year). The Emerald Ash Borer infestation has expanded the habitat use of this species in many areas including Navarre Marsh.

A special prize of the week, was this male Cerulean Warbler (CERW). A tree top warbler on most days.

Back of the CERW- a view that most people do not get to see

Next week the second pulse of the second wave of migrants is expected to occur when the winds shift to the southwest. We look forward to many Magnolia Warblers and Swainson's Thrushes with an increase in redstarts and many other warbler species.

Enjoy the great days of spring!
Check out the Navarre Banding totals at   http://www.bsbo.org/passerine/spring_passerine_migration_monitoring.htm

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