Banding Wood Warblers at Birdcraft

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens).  These birds nest in the Northeastern Us and Southeastern Canada.

Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). These birds nest in the Northeastern U.S. and Southeastern Canada.

Today we awoke to a chorus of birdsong and the bird banders of Birdcraft Museum and Sanctuary in Fairfield, Connecticut went down to see which birds had migrated in.  The stormy weather had kept the birds from migrating north and the change to milder conditions brought a big push, birds eager to get to their breeding grounds for the best territories.   We identified the following species in the Sanctuary:  Hooded Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Eastern Towhee, Blue-headed Vireo, Chestnut-sided Warbler, Nashville Warbler, Hermit Thrush, Ovenbird, Blue-winged Warbler, American Robin, Gray Catbird, Downy Woodpecker, Tree Swallow, Northern Waterthrush, Myrtle (Yellow-rumped) Warbler, Magnolia Warbler and Black and White Warblers.   Following is a series of photographs of the banding of a Black-throated Blue Warbler.

Here I am trying to determine his age.  The blue edging on his alula feahter (the triangular on at the bend) has a blue edge, indicating an older bird, which we call ASY (after second year) as this is the closest we can come to his age with certainty.  He could be older.

Here I am trying to determine his age. The blue edging on his alula feather (the triangular one at the bend or his wing) has a blue edge, indicating an older bird, which we call ASY (After Second Year) as this is the closest we can come to his age with certainty. He could be older.

Here he is waiting while I open the band.  This band has a unique number which we report to the Bird Banding Lab at US Fish and wildlife Service.

Here he is waiting while I open the band. This band has a unique number which we report to the Bird Banding Lab at U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Another indication of the bird's age is shown in the number of white spots in the tail.  This male has four spots on each side indicating full maturity.

Another indication of the bird’s age is shown in the number of white spots in the tail. This male has four spots on each side, indicating full maturity.

After we check him for fat and weigh him, he is released.  Free at last!

After we check him for fat and weigh him, he is released. Free at last!

Banding of birds is only done by specially trained people licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Advertisements

3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Carla said,

    Beautiful!!!!!!!

    Like

  2. 2

    Carla said,

    Saw several at Magee Marsh today!!!!!! Oh yes, you were there! 🙂

    Like

  3. 3

    Yes! We were there together. What a great time! 135 species including 30 species of warblers!!!

    Like


Comment RSS · TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: