Point Blue's Palomarin Blog

Taking the Long View: An inside look at the goings-on at the longest running avian ecology field station west of the Mississippi.

Monthly Banding Summary, May 2015

07.02.15
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This summary was compiled by Palomarin banding interns Robert Snowden and Hannah Conley with help from Renée Cormier, Banding Supervisor.

Exciting Captures and Observations:

With the breeding season in full swing, the Palomarin interns shift into high gear during May. The month commenced the high-intensity banding regimen that will last into the fall (we band less during winter), when we increased banding effort at Palomarin to six days per week, and added two additional “off-sites”  (other banding sites around West Marin) at Lagunitas Creek and Redwood Creek to our schedule. This increased effort brought plenty of birds for us, especially at our off-sites, where capturing well over 30 birds in a morning became the norm. We also caught increasing numbers of juveniles of several species as the month progressed and more and more young birds depart their
nests.

Female Yellow Warbler caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

Female Yellow Warbler caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

One very exciting capture we had was a female Violet-green Swallow, a species that was last caught at Palomarin over 5 years ago! We caught her on a day that a school group was visiting the field station, so this female was able to dazzle about 30 3rd graders!

Female Yellow Warbler caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

Female Yellow Warbler caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

A lot of interesting species were caught at our off sites, including our first Black-headed Grosbeak of the season, and a few less common spring captures, such as Yellow Warbler, Cedar Waxwing, Northern Rough-winged Swallow (first in 6 years), Western Bluebird, Ash-throated Flycatcher (first in 7 years), and Oak Titmouse (first in 13 years!).

Male Black-headed Grosbeak caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

Male Black-headed Grosbeak caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

Let’s Do the Numbers:

In 26 days (3093.40 net hours) of mist-netting at Palomarin in May, we captured 62 new birds and recaptured 86 previously banded birds. A total of 148 birds of 30 species were caught this month. Approximately 6 birds were caught per banding day.

At our other West Marin banding sites, we captured 264 new birds and recaptured 201 previously banded birds. A total of 465 birds of 42 species were caught over 15 banding days this month (840.66 net hours), an average of approximately 31 birds per day.

Second-year Female Cedar Waxwing caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

Second-year Female Cedar Waxwing caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Tyler Winter

 

Northern Rough-winged Swallow caught at Pine Gulch - this is the first of this species in 6 years! Photo by Hannah Conley

Northern Rough-winged Swallow caught at Pine Gulch – this is the first of this species in 6 years! Photo by Hannah Conley

The highest capture rates at Palomarin and our other West Marin banding sites were on May 20 and 27 at Palomarin with 11 birds each day, and May 26 at Pine Gulch with 73 birds.

At Palomarin the highest numbers were captured for the following species:  Wilson’s Warbler (21), Oregon Junco (13), Swainson’s Thrush (12) and Allen’s Hummingbird (12).

Across all off-sites, the highest numbers of captures by species were: Swainson’s Thrush (115), Wilson’s Warbler (94), Song Sparrow (65), Allen’s Hummingbird (47), and O range-crowned Warbler (24).

Female (sex determined by presence of a brood patch) Oak Titmouse caught at Lagunitas Creek. Photo by Robert Snowden

Female (sex determined by presence of a brood patch) Oak Titmouse caught at Lagunitas Creek. Photo by Robert Snowden

Female Western Bluebird Caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Hannah Conley

Female Western Bluebird Caught at Pine Gulch. Photo by Hannah Conley

About these Summaries:

In an effort to share our science with the public, Point Blue interns and staff at our Palomarin Field Station (Palomarin or “Palo”) in Point Reyes National Seashore near Bolinas, CA produce these monthly bird-banding summaries. Our science interns create these summaries as part of their science outreach training.

Our Palomarin Field Station is open to the public.  Consider visiting us!  Learn how by visiting our mist-netting demonstrations web page.

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