The 2010 fall migration banding season was quite eventful at Powdermill. In total, we banded 7,911 individuals of 114 species and documented another 2,757 recapture events. We processed record, or near record, numbers for quite a few species for the fall period. We exceeded last years record numbers of Magnolia Warblers by 90 individuals for a total of 638 being banded this season. We also had record numbers for Golden-crowned Kinglet (303), and tied record highs for Blackpoll Warbler (92) and Sharp-shinned Hawk (9). It was the second best fall in our history for Northern Parula (12), Black-throated Blue Warbler (121), and Ruby-crowned Kinglet (475). The only record low recorded this fall was for Field Sparrows (31). The top 5 species banded throughout the season were: Magnolia Warbler (638), White-throated Sparrow (545), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (445), American Goldfinch (406), and Swainson's Thrush (382). A high number of warblers and vireos resulted in a consistently busy September, and numbers spiked in early October with 492 individuals being banded on October 3rd. Capture rates tapered off by the 3rd week in October, and a final push of finches and kinglets caused numbers to spike again at the end of the month before dropping off for the season.
We are extremely grateful to our dedicated group of staff and volunteers who make the intensive banding operation at Powdermill possible. Fall volunteers included Dr. David Norman, Carolyn Stratford, Isabelle Stratford, Heather Kraus, Trey Stoner, Julie Zeyzus, Ellen McCallie, Chris Sheedy, Molly McDermott, Matt Shumar, Martha Stauffer, Joe Schrieber, Nathan Brouwer, Susan Elbin, Maya Groner, Henry Schumacher, Alice Van Zoren, Robert Vitz, Anna Maria Bakermans, Joe Szewczak.
One of the record-breaking Magnolia Warblers.
Although this bird was not banded, it was the first Ruffed Grouse handled by Drew (Banding Coordinator) and the rest of the banding crew. This fall we captured 2 hatching-year grouse, and both birds were undergoing their 1st prebasic molt (also referred to as preformative molt). Grouse broods often move into areas with dense understory vegetation to provide protective cover from predators and gain access to abundant food resources.
A hatching-year male Sharp-shinned Hawk. The 9 captures this fall tied a record.
Here are photos of the fall banding crew.
The core banding crew Drew Vitz, Marcia Arland, Jeff Moker, Lauren Morgan-Outhisack, Carolyn Stratford, Mary Shidel, and David Norman (left to right).
Drew Vitz (banding coordinator) processing a kinglet on Halloween.
Marcia Arland (banding/window-strike technician) flying birds through the tunnel for the window-strike project.
Lauren Morgan-Outhisack (banding assistant) bringing in birds to the lab.
Jeff Moker (banding assistant) unwittingly pulling a Worm-eating Warbler out of a bag to be banded. Jeff was very excited about this "life" bird, as you can judge from his expression.
Amy Amones (bioacoustics technician) banding and processing a Northern Saw-whet Owl.
Chris Sheppard (Bird Collisions Campaign Manager - American Bird Conservancy) discussing the window-strike project with a class.
Mary Shidel (Banding Technician) holding a Sharp-shinned Hawk. Although Mary has been involved with the banding program for several years, this fall was the first time that she actually came to a net with a hawk in it.
Dr. David Norman, one of Powdermill's research associates, assisted with banding for several weeks in late September-early October.
Bob Leberman, Powdermill's first bander, overseeing the banding operation.
Jeff Territo (Volunteer) holding and admiring his first Connecticut Warbler.
Joe Schrieber, a bander from Maryland, spends several days banding at Powdermill every year. Here he is photographed holding a Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Susan Elbin (New York Audubon) helping Chris with the window-strike project.
A set of Powdermill photos taken chronologically through the fall.
Morning in late October.
Late October afternoon.