Rain was ample this year except for a May dry spell stranding thousands of Wood Frog tadpoles in the shallower vernal pools by 22 May and providing a feast for raccoons and birds. Ground cover was generous, benefiting the ground-nesting species. The Great-horned Owls were not heard until the end of August. Screech Owls were seen/heard throughout. Singing males of 64 species were on territory repeatedly during the censusing of May-July. Males of various species were seen with fledglings from mid-June on.
The managed meadow retained the Field Sparrow, Blue-winged Warbler and Common Yellowthroats. The managed shrubland had all of its targeted birds, the Willow Chat, Indigo Bunting, Field Sparrows, and a hummingbird.
Mist-netting for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship program resulted in 212 new birds banded and 72 birds returning from previous years, the oldest being a Gray Catbird over nine years old. Imagine all those round trips to Central America and back!
As cooperators with the University of California LA/National Institute of Health Avian flu project, we swabbed and took feather samples of 250 birds.
More highlights follow, the numbers being singing/displaying males on territory:
|Great Blue Heron||4-bird flyover 8 July|
|Red-tailed Hawk||2 pair, routinely mobbed by crows. Fledgling July 10|
|Cooper's Hawk||pellet 22 July, seen 12, 19 Aug|
|Eastern Wood Pewee||6|
|Eastern Phoebe||3 nests|
|Tree Swallow||pair, 2 fledglings|
|Barn Swallow||4 pairs, 19 fledglings|
|Hybrid Chickadee||2 captures|
Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew