Thursday, April 30, 2015

Spring Has Sprung at the Navarre Migration Monitoring Station

The Navarre Migration Monitoring Spring Season has begun. Nine warbler species have been captured or observed thus far including Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush, Black-and-white, Yellow, Western Palm, Pine, Myrtle, Black-throated Green, and Prothonotary. 

A cool start to the migration season with continuous winds off the lake have held the birds to points south. Fair numbers of White-throated Sparrows (WTSP), Hermit Thrushes (HETH) and Ruby-crowned Kinglets (RCKI) are around as would be expected for the latter part of April. The expected timing of the first wave (24 April) has not materialized and weather projections does not look promising until later this coming week. 

Early spring allows the opportunity to compare the overflight Louisiana Waterthrush and the more common Northern Waterthrush. Difficult for many to separate, the two species have many distinctive differences. From leg color (bubblegum pink for LOWA and dark for NOWA), distinctive eye lines and the more subtle throat and under tail patterns can be useful to some degree in the field. 

LOWA (L) and NOWA (R)
LOWA superciliary line which is wider and whiter than NOWA
Leg color on LOWA are lighter than NOWA
Clear throat on LOWA / Speckled on NOWA
LOWA (L) and NOWA (R)
clear throat on LOWA streaked throat on NOWA
Here in northwest Ohio, the species we associate with winter, such as the Dark-colored (Dark-eyed) Juncos (SCJU) aks, "Snowbirds", are slowly disappearing from the region. Pictured below is an individual that illustrates the worn pointed and abraded primary coverts signifying that is was hatched last year and identified as a Second-Year bird (SY).
SCJU wing with primary coverts dull, pointed and abraded signifying an SY bird. 
Secondary coverts have been molted in the past few months.

Some highlights from the week:

Female (L) and Male (R) Eastern Towhee EATO
Female Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (BGGN)
(Female lacks black superciliary line above eye.)
Stay tuned as the coming days will see more birds arriving. Free Public banding demonstrations every Saturday in May at the Observatory from 10:00 - 11:30.Get outside and enjoy Spring! 

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