Banding summaries: 1999-2003

Fall 1999

Overall numbers:

  • 16 August to 5 November (53 days)
  • Average 4 hours per day with 13 to 15 nets (12-meter equivalents.  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 managable numbers.
  • 1878 birds netted; 1496 new birds was a new season total (fall mean 1066) and 302 recaps.
  • 57.5 birds per 100 net-hours (fall mean 53) 76 species, includes 3 released unbanded (House Sparrow, European Starling, Ruby-throated Hummingbird).

Interesting species included:

  • Marsh Wren — the first RRBO has banded, and only the second record for Dearborn.
  • Pine Siskin and Common Redpoll– An “invasion” year for winter finches, these were the first of either species RRBO has banded; the redpoll set a very early new date for Dearborn.  Along with them were a couple of Red-breasted Nuthatches, also enjoying an invasion year.
  • A Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was only our second, and appeared in a net run with two other rarely banded species: two Scarlet Tanagers and a Blue-headed Vireo.

Other species with a story:

  • Species with above average numbers. A real story this fall was Fox Sparrows.  Our fall average is 4, with our highest previous total being 8.  This year we banded 21, with more still being banded and observed post-season. Our only Brown Creeper of the season was a recently fledged juvenile in mid-August.  Last year we banded a record number of Black-throated Blue Warblers with 20; observers across the country reported this species in numbers well above average.  We banded 18 this fall, another good showing.   Five Connecticut Warblers is a good total for this elusive species.  Well above average were 38 Northern Cardinals…ouch.  A new set of nets in an open area helped boost our totals for White-crowned Sparrow to a new high of 41 (previous high, 24).
  • Big misses included Mourning Warbler, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (none banded in all of 1999!), Common Grackle, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Winter Wren.
  • Appearing in low numbers were Hermit Thrushes, with only 31.  Our fall average is 53, and last year we set a record with 101.  Veeries put in a dismal showing with only three, but are our least frequently banded thrush.
  • We also did some Northern Saw-whet Owl banding, with 20 banded. Details here.

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