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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Breeding Season 2007
Hannah Bonsey Suthers

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 Heron4-bird flyover 8 July
Wild Turkey6
Red-tailed Hawk2 pair, routinely mobbed by crows. Fledgling July 10
Cooper's Hawkpellet 22 July, seen 12, 19 Aug
Yellow-billed Cuckoo1
Ruby-throated Hummingbird3
Red-bellied Woodpecker23
Hairy Woodpecker2
Downy Woodpecker8
Yellow-shafted Flicker7
Pileated Woodpeckerpair
Eastern Wood Pewee6
Eastern Phoebe3 nests
Great-crested Flycatcher8
Willow Flycatcher1-Jan-00
Tree Swallowpair, 2 fledglings
Barn Swallow4 pairs, 19 fledglings
Carolina Chickadee17
Black-capped Chickadee8
Hybrid Chickadee2 captures
Tufted Titmouse22
White-breasted Nuthatch8
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher1
House Wren8
Chipping Sparrow8
Song Sparrow11
Eastern Towhee26
Indigo Bunting3
Rose-breasted Grosbeak17
White-eyed Vireo2
Yellow-throated Vireo7
Red-eyed Vireo20
Blue-winged Warbler10
Common Yellowthroat28
Yellow Warbler2
Black-and-white Warbler3
Yellow-breasted Chat1
Baltimore Oriole12
Scarlet Tanager8
Gray Catbird58
Brown Thrasher1
Eastern Bluebird3
Wood Thrush24
American Robin43

Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew  

Last revision: Thursday, March 13, 2008