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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Breeding Season 2004
Hannah Suthers

The 2004 breeding season at Featherbed Lane, Hopewell, had record-breaking rain but was comparatively mild so that the permanent residents and early migrants had an early start and fledglings appeared two weeks earlier than ususal. Ground cover was lush, favoring Ovenbirds (27 pairs) and Towhees (32 pairs), however a new feral cat was present and only 14 Ovenbird fledglings were banded compared with 27 last year. On 20 June two crows raided a Towhee nest and carried off a nestling. Insect food and berries were abundant so Gray Catbirds had three waves of fledglings appearing in June, July and August. Cardinals also multibrooded. Woodthrushes and Rose-breasted Grosbeaks double-brooded. Great-horned Owls, Screech Owls, Red-tailed Hawks and Pileated Woodpeckers persisted. The widower Red-tail of last fall found a new mate. Both cuckoo species, Blue Jays and Common Grackles increased in numbers, presumably in response to the periodic cicadas. A Cedar Waxwing was observed catching a cicada on the wing. There were 62 species of territorial males, of which 25 were Neotropical species, 11 temperate species and 23 resident species. Census numbers were down on several species. Notes and proofs of breeding are as follows:

Turkey Vulture3 pair
Ruffed Grousesadly absent
Red-tailed Hawkfledgling on 2 July, mobbed by Blue Jays on 8 Aug
Wild Turkeyhen with poults
Mourning Dovecensus down from 17 pairs last year to 9
Ruby-throated Hummingbirdfemale netted twice, once with fledgling
Downy Woodpecker downfrom 7 pairs to 4, fledglings banded 27 June, 11 July, 3, 22 & 29 Aug
Hairy Woodpecker2 pairs, fledglings banded 22 July, 3 Aug
Common Flickerdown from 6 pairs to 3
Great-crested Flycatcher10 territories
Eastern Kingbird1 pair
Barn Swallow8 pairs, feeding fledglings on powerline 20 June
Black-capped Chickadeedown from 10 pairs to 4
Hybrid Chickadeefledgling banded 22 Aug
Carolina Chickadeedown from 10 pairs to 6, fledgling banded 22 July
Tufted Titmousedown from 31 pairs to 23, fledglings banded 2 & 25 July
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher2 pairs, fledgling banded on 25 July
Veerydown from 20 pairs to 14, fledgling banded 29 Aug
American Robindown from 46 pairs to 29, fledglings banded 30 May, 20 June, 2 July
White-eyed Vireopair, fledglings banded 11 July and 15 Aug
Red-eyed Vireodown from 25 pairs to 15, a male and a female banded
Yellow-throated Vireo2 pairs
Blue-winged Warblerdown from 11 pairs to 5, 2 males and a female banded June 6 and July 2
Yellow Warblerdown from 7 pairs to 4, a male banded 20 June
Black-and-white Warbler3 pairs
Common Yellowthroatdown from 36 to 26 pairs, fledglings banded 20 June and throughout
Scarlet Tanager10 pairs, female banded 30 May, two young banded 22 Aug
Northern Cardinaldown from 38 to 26 pairs, fledglings banded 20 June and throughout
Rose-breasted Grosbeak17 pairs, female & fledgling banded 25 July, fledgling banded 15 Aug
Indigo Bunting3 pairs, a male banded 30 May, female banded 11 July
Chipping Sparrowdown from 6 pairs to 4
Field Sparrowdown from 3 pairs to 1, fledgling banded 22 August
Baltimore Oriole14 pairs, fledgling calling

The first fall migrant, a Northern Waterthrush, was banded on 3 August. By 8 August adult birds were gone except for multibrooded Catbirds and Robins. Migrant Chestnut-sided Warbler and American Redstarts were banded. A Hooded Warbler was banded on 15 August and an accipiter sighted. On August 22, in addition to the above mentioned species, Alder Flycatcher, Black-throated Blue, Black-throated Green, and Canada Warblers were banded. On August 29 the first Magnolia Warbler was banded.

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Friday, April 25, 2008