Sunday, May 20, 2007

Feels Like May, Again.

And the birds are on the move again. With 40 new birds of twelve species on Saturday (plus two hummers) and 98 new of twenty-one species on Sunday, migrating songbirds were again on the move. Six new-of-the-season species were netted over the weekend, of which four are pictured. The new species were: Gray-cheeked Thrush, Marsh Wren, Wilson's Warbler, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Black-throated-green Warbler and Red-winged Blackbird. Recaps were few: three on Saturday, one Sunday.

Common Yellowthroat was the most numerous species each day, with 21 on Saturday and 32 on Sunday. On Sunday there was a surge of American Redstarts and four thrushes of the Catharus genus, Swainson's, Bicknell's, Veery and Gray-cheeked. Warblers were eleven species: Redstart, Magnolia, Black-throated Blue(all females), Black-throated Green, Parula, Wilson's, Yellow, Chestnut-sided, Blackpoll, Northern Waterthrush and Common Yellowthroat. Catbirds were on the decline with only three banded on Sunday.

Neither day could have been successful without our volunteers. Marcia, a Virginia Master Naturalist participant, patiently and accurately scribed each day. Renee, Sheila and John helped keep the nets cleared (and brought more bird bags when they were needed) on Sunday. Brendan, my nephew visiting from Washington D.C., provided logistical support and encouragement. All netted birds flew off because of their efforts.

Finally, the station was visited by many individuals over the period. Two interested groups of Cub Scouts and Brownies from Virginia Beach took the opportunity to view the birds up close at the banding table. They began to appreciate the critical importance of stop-over places like First Landing State Park to migrating songbirds in a chain which stretches across two continents from wintering grounds to breeding grounds and back.


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