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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Breeding Season 2003
Hannah Suthers

The 2003 breeding season at Featherbed Lane, Hopewell, started out wet and cold. The late appearance of fledglings indicated that early nesting for the most part failed, and birds re-nested. There was ample rain throughout, and some record hot days. Great-horned Owl, Screech Owl, Red-tailed Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker were down to 1 pair each from 2 pairs each last year, possibly because of the February blizzard. Crow numbers held but Blue Jay numbers dropped from 22 terr to 16. Other woodpecker breeding numbers remained essentially the same, likewise chickadees and titmice. But White-breasted Nuthatches were down from 13 pairs last year to 7, Carolina Wrens down from 11 pairs to 5, and Mockingbirds down from 6 pairs to 3. Ovenbirds had a very productive year, 27 territories (terr) and 27 fledglings banded, perhaps because of the lush ground cover and absence of a feral cat. Highlights of the 62 species of terr males and proofs of breeding are as follows:

Great Blue Heronpair flyover in May and June
Turkey Vultures2 pair present throughout
Red-tailed Hawkfledgling July 10, Aug 2
Ruffed Grouseflushed 6 times June-Aug
Wild Turkeywith about 20 poults mid June, flock of mixed ages 24 July
Chimney Swiftsobserved throughout in Hopewell Borough, flyovers Featherbed Lane in June
Red-headed Woodpeckercame to a nearby feeder regularly
Red-bellied Woodpeckernumbers, 19 terr
Hairy Woodpecker3 terr, distraction behavior June 8
Downy Woodpecker7 terr, 5 fledglings banded June 29-July 27
Yellow-shafted Flicker6 terr
Ruby-throated Hummingbird3 terr, female with brood patch captured May 18, another June 9
Eastern Wood Pewee5 terr
Eastern Phoebe2 nests
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher2 migrants banded Aug 25
Great-crested Flycatcher9 terr, fledgling July 6
Warbling Vireo2 terr at adjacent farm
Red-eyed Vireo25 terr, females with brood patches banded June 6 (2), June 15, fledgling July 6
Barn Swallow4 pairs, 20 fledglings of 2 broods
Hybrid Chickadeefledgling banded July 27
Carolina Chickadeefledgling banded July 27
House Wrens6 terr, fledgling banded July 20
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher4 terr, fledglings with parents
Eastern Bluebird2 pr using nest boxes
Veery20 terr, fledgling banded Aug 21
Woodthrush29 terr, 18 fledglings banded June 29-Aug 24
American Robin46 terr, nest raided by a Crow, June 9, Robins, Gray Catbirds, Tufted Titmice, Northern Cardinal mobbing the Crow
Brown Thrasherobserved June 16, 18
Gray Catbirdour most abundant bird, 59 terr, 39 fledglings banded from 4 nestings June 25-Aug 24
Black-and-white Warbler3 terr, two fledglings with male banded June 25
Blue-winged Warbler11 terr, distraction display June 14
Yellow Warbler7 terr
American Redstartobserved July 24, two hatch-years banded Aug 21
Louisiana Waterthrushsinging at a running brook June 8
Common Yellowthroat37 terr, 9 fledglings banded on July 21 and thereafter
Canada Warblerbanded on Aug 21, two on Aug 24
Black-throated Blue Warblerbanded two on Aug 24
Scarlet Tanager8 terr
Eastern Towhee33 terr, fledglings Aug 7
Chipping Sparrow6 terr
Field Sparrow3 terr
Song Sparrow6 terr
Rose-breasted Grosbeak14 terr, banded brooding female May 18, male July 13, July 20
Northern Cardinal38 terr, banded 5 fledglings in August
Indigo Bunting2 terr
House Finch6 terr
American Goldfinch6 terr, fledglings mid Aug
Northern Oriole14 terr, fledgling calling June 14
Brown-headed Cowbird7 terr, banded pair June 15; fledgling seen June 15

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Thursday, September 25, 2003 - 7:44:04 PM