Most commonly banded birds

1992-2013 (34,701 birds banded)


Species Number Percent of total
1. American Robin 4165 12.0%
2. Gray Catbird 3609 10.4
3. American Goldfinch 2627 7.6
4. White-throated Sparrow 2042 5.9
5. Swainson’s Thrush 1617 4.7
6. Song Sparrow 1370 3.4
7. Yellow-rumped Warbler 1223 3.5
8. Hermit Thrush 1061 3.1
9. Magnolia Warbler 955 2.8
10. Nashville Warbler 875 2.5

The composition of this list has remained pretty much static all these years. In fall 2009, American Robin surpassed Gray Catbird, unseating the catbird as the most common species for the first time since we started banding on campus. In fall 2008, Nashville Warbler inched out White-crowned Sparrow for 10th place.

Species by season, 1992-2012


SPRING* FALL
Species Birds per 100 net hours** Species Birds per 100 net hours
Gray Catbird 2.67 American Robin 5.75
American Goldfinch 2.43 Gray Catbird 4.02
White-throated Sparrow 1.79 American Goldfinch 2.73
Yellow-rumped Warbler 1.53 White-throated Sparrow 2.16
White-crowned Sparrow 0.98 Swainson’s Thrush 2.03
Yellow Warbler 0.84 Song Sparrow 1.68
Swamp Sparrow 0.81 Hermit Thrush 1.41
Magnolia Warbler 0.80 Yellow-rumped Warbler 1.10
Common Yellowthroat 0.80 Magnolia Warbler 1.02
Nashville Warbler 0.75 Nashville Warbler 0.94

*Spring banding largely discontinued after 2007.
**In order to compare different locations or years that may operate the same number of hours but with more or fewer nets, capture rate is calculated by “net-hours.” One net hour is one 12-meter net open one hour, or two 6-meter nets open one hour, etc.  This rate is often expressed per 100 net-hours for more manageable numbers.

Please note:  All data is provisional and not to be cited without permission.

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