The spring 2013 bird banding season was an eventful one, with a total of 1,341 birds banded between RMBO’s stations at Chico Basin Ranch and Chatfield State Park in Colorado. Plus, both stations had a “recovery”! A recovery is when a biologist recaptures a bird banded at another banding station, which provides crucial data to biologists about bird migration patterns. Less than 1% of small songbird bands are recovered. Below are summaries and photos from both RMBO spring banding stations:
Chico Basin Ranch
RMBO Biologist and Banding Coordinator Nancy Gobris banded 661 individual birds encompassing 68 species at Chico Basin Ranch, located 35 miles southeast of Colorado Springs, Colo. These numbers were slightly lower than previous years, since overall migration was a bit late this spring. Nancy noted nine Long-eared Owls and three Gray-cheeked Thrushes as highlights from the season, along with the recovery of a Yellow-rumped Warbler. This tiny bird weighing only a half-ounce was originally banded in Mackenzie, British Columbia, on Sept. 4, 2012. Yellow-rumped Warblers can breed as far north as Alaska and winter as far south as Central America.
Chatfield State Park
RMBO Biologist and Bird Bander Meredith McBurney caught 742 individual birds encompassing 56 species at the banding station at Chatfield State Park, located outside Littleton, Colo., this spring. Swings in weather, such as an April 1 snowstorm, brought a record number of Hermit Thrushes and Orange-crowned Warblers to the station, in addition to lots of Yellow-rumped Warblers (both Audubon’s and Myrtle subspecies). Ten percent of the birds captured at Chatfield this spring had been previously banded by Meredith, including a Yellow Warbler that is now at least 9 years old! Meredith’s list of “coolest” birds from the season included a Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Black-and-White Warbler, Nashville Warbler and a banded Broad-tailed Hummingbird, previously captured and banded in the fall of 2010 in the Davis Mountains near Fort Davis, Texas
Thank You for the Support!
A special thanks is owed to Ed Warner and Jackie Erickson, the Norris Family Foundation, Morgridge Family Foundation, Adams County Open Space, Scientific & Cultural Facilities District, Chico Basin Ranch and Audubon Society of Greater Denver for providing funding to help cover the costs of educational programs, Chatfield State Park and all of our volunteers for helping make RMBO’s spring banding season possible.
~ Emily Snode, School Programs Coordinator