Big day!

We woke up early the morning of September 24 and could see on the NWS radar an interesting set-up for a significant fallout of migrants at Cape Florida. A substantial wave of birds was heading south over Miami and Key Biscayne while a large thunderstorm complex was heading north from Key Largo to intercept these birds. We waited until 0845 for the rain to taper off and we were not disappointed! As the hard rain turned to drizzle and then stopped completely the trees came alive with American redstarts, Northern parulas, Cape May, Worm-eating, Black-and-white and Black-throated blue warblers while Ovenbirds and Northern waterthrush were hopping around on the ground.

178-bird day 9-24-15_RD

Birds waiting to be processed are held in bags

We banded from 0900 until 1600 and caught 178 new birds in that time; the third biggest day ever during fall migration. The majority were American redstarts, Ovenbirds, Worm-eating warblers and Black-and-white warblers (classic Atlantic coast to Caribbean migrants) but, as is often the case when rain forces birds to land, there were some more unusual species mixed in, including several firsts for the season. Most of these birds were in excellent condition with ample fat reserves, so they left after dark the night of the 24th to continue their migration.


Yellow-breasted chat


Chestnut-sided warbler


Blackpoll warbler

BWWA (AHY male)

Blue-winged warbler


Cape May warbler

AMRE_082615_IS crop

American redstart

TOTAL BANDED 9/24/15: 178 of 22 species

  1. American redstart: 57
  2. Ovenbird: 35
  3. Black-throated blue warbler: 21
  4. Black-and-white warbler: 15
  5. Worm-eating warbler: 15
  6. Common yellowthroat: 9
  7. Northern waterthrush: 7
  8. Swainson’s warbler: 3
  9. Red-eyed vireo: 2
  10. Northern parula: 2
  11. Red-bellied woodpecker: 1
  12. Great crested flycatcher: 1
  13. Blue-gray gnatcatcher: 1
  14. Blue-winged warbler: 1
  15. Chestnut-sided warbler: 1
  16. Magnolia warbler: 1
  17. Cape May warbler: 1
  18. Prairie warbler: 1
  19. Western palm warbler: 1
  20. Blackpoll warbler: 1
  21. Yellow-breasted chat: 1
  22. Northern cardinal: 1


BWWA (AHY male) (2)_092415_RD

This guy again-he was quite photogenic!

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