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.

Point Blue Conservation Science: Palo’s Monthly Banding Summary, April 2017

08.16.17
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This summary was compiled by Point Blue’s Palomarin banding interns Isabel Lawrence, Emily Reich, Ian Souza-Cole and Meredith Heather with help from Mark Dettling, Banding Supervisor.

About Point Blue: Our mission is to conserve birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems through science, partnerships, and outreach.

Our Vision: Because of the collaborative climate-smart conservation work we do today, healthy ecosystems will continue to sustain thriving wildlife and human communities well into the future.

Visit Point Blue’s website to learn more.

Exciting Captures and Observations:

Spring arrived on time in April and the migrants continued to filter in. The area was filling up with sounds of Wilson’s Warblers, Swainson’s Thrushes, Olive-sided Flycatchers, and Pacific-slope Flycatchers. The first of the month started out with an exciting capture of a gorgeous male Townsend’s Warbler at the Palomarin banding site. Later in the month we caught three Hairy Woodpeckers, with two together in the same net. Banding at the offsite, Pine Gulch (Bolinas Lagoon Open Space Preserve), continued to be a hot spot with sightings of a Pileated Woodpecker and a Western Palm Warbler and net captures of Violet-green Swallows and Cedar Waxwings!

Cedar Waxwing captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Emily Reich.

Cedar Waxwing captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Emily Reich.

Female (left) and male (right) Violet-green Swallows captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Isabel Lawrence.

Female (left) and male (right) Violet-green Swallows captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Isabel Lawrence.

Male Violet-green Swallow captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Isabel Lawrence.

Male Violet-green Swallow captured at Pine Gulch (Marin County Open Space). Photo by Isabel Lawrence.

As the month wrapped up, the last of the winter interns sadly departed, the offsite Redwood Creek (in Golden Gate National Recreation Area) was cleared and set up to begin banding in May, and several of the Point Blue staff and interns participated in the March for Science in San Francisco. Interns and staff also went on a group camping trip to China Camp State Park to enjoy birding and socializing together in an area new to most of us. Summer was finally approaching as the rains slowed down and temperatures began to rise.

Let’s Do the Numbers:

In 17 days (1708.05 net hours) of mist-netting at Palomarin in April, we captured 40 new birds and recaptured 40 previously banded birds. A total of 80 birds of 19 species were caught. Approximately 6 birds were caught per banding day.

At our other West Marin banding sites, we captured 81 new birds and recaptured 79 previously banded birds. A total of 160 birds of 25 species were caught over 12 banding days in April (570.59 net hours), an average of approximately 14 birds per day.

The highest capture rates at Palomarin and our other West Marin banding sites were on April 17th at Palomarin with 9 birds and April 10th at Pine
Gulch with 20 birds.

At Palomarin the highest numbers were captured for the following species: Wilson’s Warbler (20), Wrentit (12), Hermit Thrush (7), Oregon Junco (7), and Anna’s Hummingbird (6).

Across all off-sites, the highest numbers of captures by species were: Wilson’s Warbler (34), Song Sparrow (26), Common Yellowthroat (13), and Bewick’s Wren (11).

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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