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, July 2013

This summary was compiled by Palomarin banding intern Aaron Hulsey with assistance from Palomarin Program Leader Diana Humple and Conservation Educator Lishka Arata.

Photo credit: Aaron Hulsey/Point Blue
Photo credit: Aaron Hulsey/Point Blue

Exciting Captures and Observations:

One exciting capture for the month of July was a recently fledged Hermit Warbler caught at the Palomarin Uppers banding site located in the study area near the Palomarin Field Station. This was a fairly early capture of this species and an indication of nearby breeding as the bird was still growing in both tail and wing feathers. Hermit Warblers typically breed on the ridge above Palomarin, but not as close to our banding stations as the parents of this fledgling must have bred.

Other exciting captures were three Olive-sided Flycatchers caught at the Palomarin Field Station which is an uncommon capture with this species not captured every year. The last year Olive-sided Flycatcher was captured was 2011.

Juvenile birds contributed to the large majority of capture in July with 738 (69%) of the 1067 birds captured across all sites having hatched this year.

Palomarin nest searching interns (“Gridders”) banded 15 Wrentit, 5 Swainson’s Thrush, 4 Western Bluebird, and 3 Wilson’s Warbler nestlings during the month of July.

Let’s Do the Numbers:

Photo credit: Aaron Hulsey/Point Blue
Photo credit: Aaron Hulsey/Point Blue

In 29 days (2789 net hours) of mist-netting at Palomarin in June, we captured 289 new birds and recaptured 199 previously banded birds. A total of 488 birds of 31 species were caught this month. Approximately 20 birds were caught per banding day – a busier month than most at Palomarin!

At our other West Marin banding sites, we captured 414 new birds and recaptured 130 previously banded birds. A total of 544 birds of 33 species were caught over 17 banding days this month (884 net hours), an average of 34 birds per day.

The highest capture rates at all sites were on July 17th at Muddy Hollow and July 16th at Redwood Creek, with 72 and 57 birds captured respectively. Redwood Creek is a banding site located near Muir Beach in Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Muddy Hollow is a site located near Limantour Beach in the Point Reyes National Seashore.

At Palomarin the highest numbers were captured for the following species: Swainson’s Thrush (78), Wrentit (59), Wilson’s Warbler (49), and Oregon Junco (40).

Across all off-sites, we captured the highest numbers of the following species: Swainson’s Thrush (116), Song Sparrow (116), Wilson’s Warbler (106), and Wrentit (39). Song Sparrows used to also be caught in high numbers at Palomarin, but habitat succession there has caused a reduction in breeding density.

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.