Vancouver Avian Research Centre

.....Research - Conservation - Education

August 2010 produced 972 new birds banded of 43 species with 162 significant retraps at the Colony Farm Banding Station. Willow Flycatcher topped the list with 124 birds banded closely followed by Common Yellowthroat and American Goldfinch. 

August/September are particularly exciting months for banders, not only because of the increased abundance and species diversity but because many birds at this time of the year are in the active stage of plumage development providing a great opportunity for learning about molt limits - where they are and what they look like. These molt limits are what banders look for in accurately determining the age of NA landbirds in the hand. We have been collecting wing photographs of the species we band at Colony Farm to illustrate this and hope to have them on the website early next year as a resource for banders and birders interested in molt limits and ageing. 

One species which is easy to age in the fall is Traill’s Flycatcher so our 124 Willow Flycatchers didn’t present a problem. This is because the molt of Traill’s Flycatchers occurs on the winter grounds. Hatch Year wing feathers are fresh looking - having just grown in this summer. Adult birds now carrying 6-8 month old feathers that have been used for one long distance migration, and which have been worn for an entire breeding season show much greater wear. In addition freshly molted wing bars of Hatch year Empidonax flycatchers are buffy/yellow in appearance, not whitish as in the adult (After Hatch Year) birds. 

Highlights this month were the Northern Waterthrush banded at the Wilson’s Farm South study site and the House Wren banded at the main station (Wilson’s Farm North) 

Thanks to Dev Manky, Kerry Kenwood, Lanaye Baxter, Carol Matthews, Celia Chui, Debbie Wheeler, Debbie Peng, Rob and Andrea Ahrens, Marg Anderson, Jerry Rolls and Mark Habdas for their help with banding this month. 

Species – Totals 

  • Willow Flycatcher - 124

  • Common Yellowthroat - 118

  • American Goldfinch -          109

  • Black-headed Grosbeak - 70

  • Swainson's Thrush - 58

  • House Finch - 57

  • Orange-crowned Warbler - 49

  • Song Sparrow          - 46

  • Purple Finch - 44

  • Lincoln's Sparrow - 34

  • Yellow Warbler - 34

  • Black-capped Chickadee - 33

  • White-crowned Sparrow - 28

  • American Robin - 23

  • Warbling Vireo - 23

  • Spotted Towhee - 20

  • Savannah Sparrow - 18

  • Downy Woodpecker - 10

  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher - 8

  • Wilson's Warbler - 8

  • Barn Swallow - 6

  • Cedar Waxwing - 6

  • Red-winged Blackbird - 6

  • Western Wood Pewee - 6

  • Brown-headed Cowbird - 5

  • McGillivray’s' Warbler - 4

  • Bushtit          - 3

  • Lazuli Bunting - 3

  • Bewick's Wren - 2

  • Chipping Sparrow - 2

  • Rufous Hummingbird - 2

  • Western Tanager - 2

  • Anna's Hummingbird - 1

  • Brown Creeper - 1

  • Eastern Kingbird - 1

  • Hairy Woodpecker - 1

  • House Wren -         1 (NEW FOR SITE)

  • Northern Waterthrush – 1 (NEW FOR SITE)

  • Oregon Junco - 1

  • Pine Siskin - 1

  • Red-eyed Vireo - 1

  • Sharp-shinned Hawk - 1

  • Townsend's Warbler - 1

Total: 972      Retraps: 162 

Derek Matthews
Master Bander / Bander-in-Charge
Vancouver Avian Research Centre
www.birdvancouver.com

 

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