Spring 2022 Wrap-up

We officially had three more days of banding following the 100-bird day on May 12, but there was enough interest in keeping the station open a couple extra days so we banded until May 17. A steady stream of American Redstarts, Common Yellowthroats, Black-throated Blue Warblers and Northern Waterthrush made up most of the birds moving through this late. Three more Connecticut Warblers pushed the spring total up to 22 banded! The previous high count was 15 in Spring 2007, another year that had a strong May due to the weather. This year’s Connecticut Warbler record will probably stand for quite some time.

Female Connecticut Warbler (photo by Miriam Avello)

The same weather patterns that brought us all these Connecticuts also brought in 6 Bicknell’s Thrush, another site record. Conversely, we banded no Gray-cheeked or Gray-cheeked/Bicknell’s intergrades this spring. American Redstarts led the totals with 267 banded, followed by 181 Common Yellowthroats, 146 Ovenbirds and 128 Northern Waterthrush. Overall 1,234 new birds were banded and 27 returning birds were recaptured of 35 species. Most returning birds were over-wintering from Fall 2021, but one Ovenbird has been returning to spend the winter at Cape Florida since 2014! Three new species were banded for spring; Wood Thrush, Red-bellied Woodpecker and Brown Thrasher.

Michelle gets ready to release an American Redstart. Safe flight, little one, and see you in Central Park! (photo by Miriam Avello)

The migrants have mostly moved through South Florida by now and are starting to fill the Northeastern woods with song and the fresh green of the new leaves await with caterpillars and other food. We’ll see you and your children in the fall!

Ovenbird (photo by Miriam Avello)

Spring 2022 Totals (March 15-May 17)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Common Ground-dove4
Chuck-will’s Widow4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird1
Red-bellied Woodpecker1
Blue-headed Vireo1
Black-whiskered Vireo1
Veery1
Bicknell’s Thrush6
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird724
Brown Thrasher1
Northern Parula23
Magnolia Warbler3
Cape May Warbler18
Black-throated Blue Warbler126
Prairie Warbler72
Western Palm Warbler9
Blackpoll Warbler14
Black & white Warbler543
American Redstart2661
Worm-eating Warbler40
Swainson’s Warbler14
Ovenbird1433
Northern Waterthrush128
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Kentucky Warbler2
Connecticut Warbler22
Common Yellowthroat1801
Hooded Warbler2
Northern Cardinal814
Rose-breasted Grosbeak1
Indigo Bunting4
Painted Bunting41
Common Grackle4
TOTAL123427
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL126135258950.514.37
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A lot of good days!

The Spring 2022 season will long be remembered for the fantastic May we are having. The large-scale weather pattern reversed itself from the late April shutdown, and the persistent high pressure over the Atlantic seaboard was replaced with a low pressure off the coast of the mid-Atlantic. Ahead of this feature a decaying ‘cold’ front passed through our area around May 8. On the ground we had westerly winds turning north and then north-northeast, and the gates of late season migration opened up! We banded almost as many birds in the last 5 days as we did in the first 6 weeks of the season.

This current wave of birds started out on May 8 with a lot of Common Yellowthroats and American Redstarts, and a majority were female birds. The second-year male redstarts with their patchy black faces were also abundant, and a straggling Prairie warbler was in the mix. Redstarts and Yellowthroats eased off a bit on May 9, but more Ovenbirds were around, and a Magnolia Warbler was a treat. None of these birds stayed long as recaptures from other days were few and far between.

Male Common Yellowthroat (Photo by Miriam Avello)

The overnight radar loops continued to show influxes of birds coming into the area from the east; either the Bahamas or eastern Cuba. These flocks were settling onto Cape Florida and immediately getting down to the business of feeding. Strangler figs packed with fruit and newly leafed out gumbo limbos crawling with caterpillars were ready for them.

The wind had shifted around to the north from being west to northwest the past two days, but the birds kept coming in on May 10 and May 11. One last Gray Catbird was banded on the 10th, probably the last one we will see until October, when they return to spend the winter. Redstarts and Yellowthroats leveled off, and Blackpolls finally started arriving. They stuck to the tops of the trees, with the glaring exception of a flock of 5 females that were caught together in the same net. Northern Waterthrush picked up the pace, and their numbers increased daily. They came in a distinct wave around mid-morning on the 10th, but dozens were arriving at sunrise on the 11th.  

But mostly the Connecticut Warblers arrived. They have a narrow window when they migrate through our area, peaking in the second week of May. We usually band at least one, but birders can easily miss seeing them in spring. But every once in a while the weather cooperates to bring us a bunch. We banded 3 on the 10th, 4 on the 11th, and 8 on the 12th! The total of 18 Connecticuts banded since May 5 eclipses the previous record of 15 from 2007. And we still have 3 more days!

Male Connecticut Warbler (photo by Miriam Avello)

Thrushes are here, too, and a Veery was banded along with 5 Bicknell’s Thrush yesterday and today. We have not banded any Gray-cheeked Thrush or intergrades yet. Bicknell’s winter exclusively in the Greater Antilles while the Gray-cheeks go down to South America. They can be very difficult to separate from the (usually) more common Gray-cheeked Thrush, but it can be done in the field by song and in the hand by smaller measurements and a warm rufous tone to the upperparts.

A pair of Bicknell’s Thrush in the hand at the same time! Note the warmer tones than Gray-cheeked Thrush, and the lack of the buffy eye-ring that Swainson’s Thrush have. (Photo by Rangel Diaz)

May 12 2022

SPECIESNEWRECAP
Common Ground-dove1
Bicknell’s Thrush3
Northern Parula2
Cape May Warbler1
Black-throated Blue Warbler114
Blackpoll Warbler4
Black & white Warbler1
American Redstart131
Ovenbird62
Northern Waterthrush36
Connecticut Warbler8
Common Yellowthroat122
Common Grackle2
TOTAL1009

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Common Ground-dove4
Chuck-will’s Widow4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird1
Red-bellied Woodpecker1
Blue-headed Vireo1
Black-whiskered Vireo1
Veery1
Bicknell’s Thrush6
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird724
Brown Thrasher1
Northern Parula22
Magnolia Warbler3
Cape May Warbler18
Black-throated Blue Warbler117
Prairie Warbler72
Western Palm Warbler9
Blackpoll Warbler14
Black & white Warbler543
American Redstart2321
Worm-eating Warbler40
Swainson’s Warbler14
Ovenbird1363
Northern Waterthrush116
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Kentucky Warbler2
Connecticut Warbler18
Common Yellowthroat1501
Hooded Warbler2
Northern Cardinal813
Rose-breasted Grosbeak1
Indigo Bunting4
Painted Bunting41
Common Grackle4
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL11633525824614.71
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One good day!

The peak days of spring migration in late April featured continuing strong easterly winds, and the majority of migrating birds were blown to the west of us; coming up through Cape Sable and Southwest Florida. We have heard this story a lot in the last two years.

The winds relaxed towards the end of the month, and we were greeted with thunderstorms over our site in the morning of April 30, delaying net opening by a couple of hours. The rain moved away by 1030, and we started seeing birds in the woods! Ovenbirds were especially abundant, and we were herding them in front of us as we walked the trails. 40 of the 79 birds banded this day were Ovenbirds! Cape May Warblers were also common, although they mostly stayed out of reach in the tops of the fruiting strangler figs. Some American Redstarts and Northern Waterthrush arrived late in the afternoon.

Here is a selection of some of the birds banded in the last week. The interesting variety is somewhat making up for the lack of numbers this spring.

Young male American Redstart with blotches of adult black plumage on face. Unusual for warblers, American Redstart males maintain the immature yellow plumage through their first breeding summer. (Photo by Michelle Davis)

The third Brown Thrasher ever banded at CFBS and the first for spring. They are closely related to the Northern Mockingbird and Gray Catbird, and is one of several very common species across the eastern US that are surprisingly rare in South Florida. (photo by Steffanie Munguia)

Hi there! A Western Palm Warbler putting on some bright color before heading north to breed. (Photo by Steffanie Munguia)

Female Indigo Bunting showing some touches of soft blue and a bicolored bill for breeding season (photo by Miriam Avello)

Male Black-throated Blue Warbler; he is just as bright in fall as in spring unlike many species (Photo by Miriam Avello)

These last two species were the most unusual captures on April 30 and added a little spice to the day.

Bicknell’s Thrush, closely related to the Gray-cheeked Thrush and considered a subspecies by some. They are smaller and warmer in tone, as well as having a recognizably different song. (Photo by Miriam Avello)

Female Rose-breasted Grosbeak, another infrequent visitor to South Florida. (photo by Miriam Avello)

The Phoebes birding group visited the station on Sunday May 1, and they were able to see a few birds in the hand and learn about the data we collect, although most of the birds from the day before had moved on. All those Ovenbirds left the previous night to continue their journey.

Miriam points out molt limits used to age birds to Phoebes walk participants. (photo by Michelle Davis)

April 30 2022

SPECIESNEWRECAP
Bicknell’s Thrush1
Gray Catbird1
Northern Parula1
Cape May Warbler3
Black-throated Blue Warbler11
Western Palm Warbler1
Black & white Warbler2
American Redstart9
Worm-eating Warbler1
Ovenbird401
Northern Waterthrush2
Common Yellowthroat5
Northern Cardinal1
Rose-breasted Grosbeak1
Indigo Bunting1
TOTAL792

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Common Ground-dove3
Chuck-will’s Widow4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird1
Blue-headed Vireo1
Black-whiskered Vireo1
Bicknell’s Thrush1
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird714
Brown Thrasher1
Northern Parula14
Magnolia Warbler1
Cape May Warbler14
Black-throated Blue Warbler53
Prairie Warbler71
Western Palm Warbler9
Black & white Warbler383
American Redstart471
Worm-eating Warbler40
Swainson’s Warbler13
Ovenbird773
Northern Waterthrush33
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Kentucky Warbler2
Common Yellowthroat341
Hooded Warbler2
Northern Cardinal812
Rose-breasted Grosbeak1
Indigo Bunting4
Painted Bunting41
Common Grackle1
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL58031256700.59.18
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Waiting Game

We are in a period of unfavorable winds for concentrating large numbers of migrants along the Atlantic coast, with strong easterly winds forecast through the foreseeable future. A bit disappointing as we enter the peak of the season, but this is the prevailing wind direction and bird migration has evolved accordingly. Songbirds traveling between North, Central and South America in spring generally are following paths to the west of their southbound routes in fall; a phenomenon known as loop migration. The end result of this for observers in Florida is that we see fewer species overall in spring than in fall, but certain species such as the Blackpoll Warbler are much more common in spring. Some species, such as the Black-throated Blue Warbler whose winter range is almost entirely in the Greater Antilles, are common here in both spring and fall.

Still, new species are trickling in. Here are some of the recent highlights:

Adult male Indigo Bunting banded on April 14, showing perfect blue spring plumage. (photo by Liz Golden)

Male Hooded Warbler banded on April 12, for a touch of bright yellow. Most Hoodeds cross the Gulf from Mexico and land in Texas or Louisiana, so they are a special treat at Cape Florida. (photo by Michelle Davis)

Ruby-throated Hummingbirds are common winter residents in South Florida, but they leave us in the spring to breed further north. This is the first hummingbird we have caught since 2008. We release them unbanded after taking information about age, sex and condition, since a specific permit is required to band hummingbirds. This is a female from April 13. (photo by Michelle Davis)

Black-whiskered Vireos, on the other hand, winter to the south of us and are just now returning to breed in mangroves and hardwood hammocks across South Florida. The very similar Red-eyed Vireos are passing through to points north for breeding, but they are holding breeding territories as close by as Big Cypress. This bird, probably a male, was banded on April 16. (photo by Michelle Davis)

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Common Ground-dove1
Chuck-will’s Widow4
Ruby-throated Hummingbird1
Blue-headed Vireo1
Black-whiskered Vireo1
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird594
Northern Parula7
Cape May Warbler2
Black-throated Blue Warbler20
Prairie Warbler70
Western Palm Warbler5
Black & white Warbler273
American Redstart281
Worm-eating Warbler33
Swainson’s Warbler12
Ovenbird123
Northern Waterthrush19
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Kentucky Warbler2
Common Yellowthroat141
Hooded Warbler1
Northern Cardinal511
Indigo Bunting1
Painted Bunting21
Common Grackle1
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
      
SEASON TOTAL358272546898.13
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Prairie Warbler Days

Male Prairie Warblers; notice the right bird has a distinctly orange throat, a plumage variation occasionally seen with males in the Florida Keys. It is unknown if the orange is caused by diet or genetics. (photo by Alex Sharp)

After nearly 2 weeks of lackluster migration, birds were on the move again and westerly winds brought them out to Key Biscayne in good numbers! Friday, April 8 started out as another slow day, although the overnight rain and morning temperature was refreshing after a stretch of humid 90-degree summertime days, courtesy of strong southerly winds. Flocks of birds started trickling in as the morning wore on, and we could hear groups of Prairie Warblers and Western Palm Warblers in the canopy while Worm-eating Warblers and Black & White Warblers appeared here and there in the woods. The waves of incoming migrants peaked between 1030 and 1200, and we briefly heard a Hooded Warbler calling. The day ended with 31 new birds banded of 7 species, including our first migrating Gray Catbirds.

This gorgeous male Kentucky Warbler was a treat on April 9; we only see these occasionally in South Florida.  (photo by Alex Sharp)

Saturday April 9 we were greeted with a flurry of activity at sunrise as birds by the dozens woke up and darted through the vegetation. There were more individuals present than the previous day, and they seemed to have collected on Key Biscayne yesterday afternoon and evening as a strong northwest wind continued to blow. We banded 30 birds on the opening net run just after sunrise, most of them Prairie Warblers. We didn’t hear new flocks of incoming birds, but the birds already here kept us busy. Diversity was excellent with several first-of-season species noted, including Black-whiskered Vireo, one of the few species that arrives to breed in Florida from points further south. We ended the day with 57 new birds of 14 species, a far cry from the 3 to 5 bird days we had last week! Our wintering Wood Thrush was calling at sunrise both days, and the majority of Gray Catbirds are still in wintering condition, although additional migrant catbirds are joining them.

Several Blue-headed Vireos are wintering in the banding area, and we hear them singing every day. They should be leaving in the next couple of weeks for their breeding grounds in the Northeast.  (photo by Alex Sharp)

Sunday, May 10 was not quite as busy and a few individuals banded on previous days were recaptured, showing us that migrants are using Cape Florida as a rest stop while they wait for the wind direction to change so they can continue their flight north. Still, there was some turnover as Worm-eating Warblers made up a greater proportion of the birds banded today.

From now until the middle of May spring migration will pick up in volume, although there will be periods of slow days here and there when the wind direction is unfavorable. Keep your eyes on the fruiting strangler figs!

The first Cape May Warbler of the season! (photo by Michelle Davis)

New birds banded

SPECIESAPRIL 8APRIL 9APRIL 10
Chuck-will’s Widow1
Blue-headed Vireo1
Wood Thrush
Gray Catbird212
Northern Parula31
Cape May Warbler1
Black-throated Blue Warbler3
Prairie Warbler10227
Western Palm Warbler2
Black & white Warbler61
American Redstart7112
Worm-eating Warbler269
Swainson’s Warbler3
Ovenbird12
Northern Waterthrush1 33
Kentucky Warbler1
Common Yellowthroat
Northern Cardinal
TOTAL315726

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk1
Common Ground-dove1
Chuck-will’s Widow4
Blue-headed Vireo1
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird374
Northern Parula6
Cape May Warbler1
Black-throated Blue Warbler3
Prairie Warbler61
Western Palm Warbler5
Black & white Warbler193
American Redstart221
Worm-eating Warbler24
Swainson’s Warbler8
Ovenbird53
Northern Waterthrush10
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Kentucky Warbler1
Common Yellowthroat71
Northern Cardinal48
Painted Bunting2
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL24622253229.258.05
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First migrants!

Michelle checks a Prairie Warbler before release (photo by Steffanie Munguía)

The cold front last Friday (March 25) brought a squall line through the area in the predawn hours that then moved offshore after sunrise with cloudy but benign conditions afterwards. We were treated to our first real influx of migrants as Prairie Warblers, Western Palm Warblers, Northern Parulas and Black & White Warblers filled the sky with chip notes as they settled into the canopy. These arrivals were moving quickly through the tops of the trees but eventually settled into foraging flocks that came lower as the day wore on and we ended up banding 21 new birds and recapturing 2 winterers. A Yellow-throated Warbler and a Tennessee Warbler were among the birds seen but not banded. The first-of-season Worm-eating warbler and American Redstart were among the banded birds.

Hi there! Western Palm Warbler (photo by Steffanie Munguía)

We are now back in a quiet period waiting for the next wave of migrants to come through the area. Birdcast has shown a decent flight across the Gulf of Mexico to the Mississippi Valley and Central Flyways this week. Hopefully our turn will come again as the weather shifts around this weekend. Early migration comes in pulses while by late April and early May there is a continuous stream of songbirds heading north. Multiple strangler fig trees onsite are just now beginning to fruit and should be ripe in time for the mid to late April influx of migrants.

Swainson’s Warbler. Note sloping head and huge bill for leaf tossing. (photo by Steffanie Munguía)

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Chuck-will’s Widow3
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird242
Northern Parula1
Prairie Warbler16
Western Palm Warbler1
Black & white Warbler112
American Redstart1
Worm-eating Warbler2
Swainson’s Warbler3
Ovenbird12
Louisiana Waterthrush3
Common Yellowthroat41
Northern Cardinal37
Painted Bunting2
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL9015241777.755.34
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Spring banding at Cape Florida has begun!

The first couple of weeks we are open in late March are typically slow bird-wise, as the bulk of the migrants are yet to come. Northern Parulas, however, have already started to come through in several waves in late February and early March before we opened. Prairie Warblers, Common Yellowthroats and Louisiana Waterthrush are currently on the move, and we caught a few of each over the weekend.

Louisiana Waterthrush (photo by Miriam Avello)

Most of our early season birds are individuals that spent the winter in the area. We have captured nine birds banded in previous seasons; most are from 2021 but one Ovenbird has returned every winter since 2014! Unsurprisingly, most of these wintering birds are Gray Catbirds but there is a smattering of Chuck-will’s Widows around. One truly unusual wintering bird was a Wood Thrush that we banded yesterday. They are rare in South Florida, but every now and then one will spend the entire winter here, rather than continuing on to more typical haunts in Central America.

Wood Thrush (photo by Steffanie Munguia)

Today was a warm muggy day with strong southeasterly winds that pushed the birds in the air overnight towards SW Florida, and we had exactly one Prairie warbler moving through at our site. We are anticipating a cold front on Thursday night or Friday to hopefully bring out some migrants to Cape Florida.

Gray Catbird (photo by Miriam Avello)

Spring 2022 Totals (from March 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Chuck-will’s Widow3
Wood Thrush1
Gray Catbird81
Prairie Warbler2
Black & white Warbler12
Ovenbird2
Louisiana Waterthrush2
Common Yellowthroat2
Northern Cardinal34
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL31923933.503.54
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End of the Fall 2021 Season

The Fall 2021 banding season ended with some beautiful weather and a dwindling amount of migrants. We caught more recaptures than new birds over the last two days, including two worm-eating warblers that appear to be making Cape Florida their winter home. The very last bird captured on Sunday was this female Black-and-white Warbler that was originally banded in Fall 2020.

Female Black-and-white Warbler (photo by Miriam Avello)

The 1770 birds of 52 species banded this fall was a lower total than usual, especially considering the substantial netting effort. We only had one rain day for the whole season, so we were open at least part of 84 days. Weather probably paid a role in the low numbers as strong northeast winds prevailed during a large portion of what has historically been the best weeks of migration.

Thanks go to our amazing crew of volunteers without which this project would be impossible, and to the Tropical Audubon Society for its continuing support of the Cape Florida Banding Station. We will resume banding again for the Spring 2022 session on or around March 15, 2022. If you are interested in volunteering please contact me (text or email is best) in late February.

-Michelle Davis                        

Jennifer checking nets (photo by Michelle Davis)

Left to right: Joe gets ready to release a Worm-eating Warbler (photo by Michelle Davis); Steffanie bands a Swainson’s Thrush (photo by Michelle Davis); Cinthia with Broad-winged Hawk (photo by Miriam Avello)

Fall Season Total (Aug 15-Nov 7)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk2
Cooper’s Hawk1
Broad-winged Hawk2
Common Ground-dove1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1
Chuck-will’s Widow8
Eastern whip-poor-will1
Red-bellied Woodpecker2
Acadian Flycatcher1
Traill’s Flycatcher7
Alder Flycatcher4
Eastern Phoebe4
Great Crested Flycatcher7
White-eyed Vireo121
Yellow-throated Vireo1
Red-eyed Vireo30
Veery3
Swainson’s Thrush24
Gray-cheeked Thrush3
Wood Thrush3
Gray Catbird1943
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher35
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1
Tennessee Warbler1
Northern Parula53
Chestnut-sided warbler1
Magnolia Warbler4
Cape May Warbler10
Black-throated Blue Warbler274
Myrtle Warbler1
Blackburnian Warbler1
Yellow-throated Warbler1
Prairie Warbler32
Western Palm Warbler10
Blackpoll Warbler1
Black-and-white Warbler1102
American Redstart235
Prothonotary Warbler4
Worm-eating Warbler95
Swainson’s Warbler26
Ovenbird2717
Northern Waterthrush75
Louisiana Waterthrush4
Common Yellowthroat1191
Hooded Warbler3
Wilson’s Warbler1
Canada Warbler1
Scarlet Tanager1
Northern Cardinal141
Blue Grosbeak1
Indigo Bunting5
Painted Bunting501
Common Grackle2
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL1770522310755.2518.75
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Late season birds

The west winds blowing for the last few days did not bring Cape Florida any great numbers of birds as hoped, but a few new faces appeared in the nets. We banded several Eastern Phoebes, a common wintering flycatcher. Three Wood Thrush were a treat, and we banded one Myrtle Warbler but nobody took a picture of it. Myrtle Warblers are just barely arriving in our area when we close for the season, and most years we don’t catch any but occasionally a flock will find the nets.

Eastern Phoebe (photo by Steffanie Munguia)

Below: Eastern Phoebe portraits taken by Miriam Avello

Wood Thrush (photo by Steffanie Munguia)

The main reason we close the Station so early in November is because there normally is a gap between when the Neotropical migrants pass through and the wintering birds arrive, and we catch very little. Nice fronts sweep through but there are few birds moving on them. This is sort of what happened with the last front and we caught fewer than 20 birds on the first day with west winds. However, the diversity has been fairly good and we got a Whip-poor Will on Sunday. Gray Catbirds and Black-throated Blue Warblers have been the dominant species.

Whip-poor Will (photo by Miriam Avello)
Whip-poor Will showing camouflaged plumage (photo by Miriam Avello)

Fall Season Total (from August 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk2
Cooper’s Hawk1
Broad-winged Hawk2
Common Ground-dove1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1
Chuck-will’s Widow8
Eastern whip-poor-will1
Red-bellied Woodpecker2
Acadian Flycatcher1
Traill’s Flycatcher7
Alder Flycatcher4
Eastern Phoebe4
Great Crested Flycatcher7
White-eyed Vireo121
Yellow-throated Vireo1
Red-eyed Vireo29
Veery3
Swainson’s Thrush24
Gray-cheeked Thrush3
Wood Thrush3
Gray Catbird1723
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher35
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1
Tennessee Warbler1
Northern Parula53
Chestnut-sided warbler1
Magnolia Warbler4
Cape May Warbler10
Black-throated Blue Warbler266
Myrtle Warbler1
Blackburnian Warbler1
Yellow-throated Warbler1
Prairie Warbler32
Western Palm Warbler10
Blackpoll Warbler1
Black-and-white Warbler1101
American Redstart235
Prothonotary Warbler4
Worm-eating Warbler95
Swainson’s Warbler26
Ovenbird2688
Northern Waterthrush74
Louisiana Waterthrush4
Common Yellowthroat119
Hooded Warbler3
Wilson’s Warbler1
Canada Warbler1
Scarlet Tanager1
Northern Cardinal132
Blue Grosbeak1
Indigo Bumting4
Painted Bunting481
Common Grackle2
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
SEASON TOTAL1730522310298.2518.98
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Catbirds are in town!

Today we were rained out after only being open for a couple of net runs and banding one Gray-cheeked Thrush and a Gray Catbird so here is the daily total from yesterday. This day was pretty typical of how the last week and a half has been going, with easterly winds prevailing and a trickle of birds coming through. These winds have died down a bit and are supposed to switch around to westerly and increase throughout this week so we will see if anything new comes in.

We need to give the Gray Catbirds more love! I only have about 2 photos of them from this season (by Miriam Avello)

Gray Catbirds have been the dominant species of the last couple of weeks, and they are filling up the woods here and all over South Florida with their mewing and complaining. Some individuals are continuing on to points further south but a good number of them stay here for the winter. In fact, on Saturday we captured two catbirds that were banded in spring right before they left for their breeding grounds. Their extensive breeding range goes as far north as southern Canada and west into Washington and British Columbia. I have personally found a Gray Catbird nest in the mountains of the extreme northeastern corner of Arizona and got a look at their pretty blue-green eggs. The males will sing a complicated beautiful song that is not as ‘mimicy’ as the closely related Northern Mockingbird and you can hear them singing in your yards in early spring as they are getting ready to depart.

Adult male Indigo Bunting (photo by Miriam Avello)

We also banded our only Indigo Bunting of the season, so far at least. He was an adult male who had molted into basic non-breeding plumage for the winter. The rich brown obscures his turquoise colors, but I find the contrast to be quite beautiful. He will molt all of his body feathers in spring, so he will be either blotchy blue-and-brown or all blue on his return trip through South Florida. Here are some close-up details of his fresh fall plumage.

Tail detail (photo by Miriam Avello)
Wings and rump (photo by Miriam Avello)

Oct 24 2021

SPECIESNEWRETURNRECAP
Swainson’s Thrush3
Gray Catbird23
Northern Parula1
Black & white Warbler11
American Redstart1
Black-throated Blue Warbler6
Swainson’s Warbler1
Ovenbird1
Painted Bunting41

Fall Season Total (from August 15)

SPECIESNEWRETURN
Sharp-shinned Hawk2
Cooper’s Hawk1
Broad-winged Hawk2
Common Ground-dove1
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1
Chuck-will’s Widow8
Red-bellied Woodpecker1
Acadian Flycatcher1
Traill’s Flycatcher7
Alder Flycatcher4
Great Crested Flycatcher7
White-eyed Vireo121
Yellow-throated Vireo1
Red-eyed Vireo26
Veery2
Swainson’s Thrush15
Gray-cheeked Thrush2
Gray Catbird1192
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher34
Ruby-crowned Kinglet1
Tennessee Warbler1
Northern Parula45
Magnolia Warbler3
Cape May Warbler10
Black-throated Blue Warbler224
Blackburnian Warbler1
Yellow-throated Warbler1
Prairie Warbler30
Western Palm Warbler8
Blackpoll Warbler1
Black-and-white Warbler1091
American Redstart228
Prothonotary Warbler4
Worm-eating Warbler95
Swainson’s Warbler26
Ovenbird2608
Northern Waterthrush73
Louisiana Waterthrush4
Common Yellowthroat104
Hooded Warbler2
Wilson’s Warbler1
Canada Warbler1
Scarlet Tanager1
Northern Cardinal121
Blue Grosbeak1
Painted Bunting281
Common Grackle2
 # BIRDS CAPTURED# SPECIES# NETSNET HOURSCAPTURE RATE (BIRDS/100NH)
DAILY TOTAL209231429.93
SEASON TOTAL153948239223.2518.77
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