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New Jersey Catbird
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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Breeding Season 2008
Hannah Suthers

A warm, wet spring with a late April dry spell was followed by ample rain in June. Perhaps the surviving wood frog tadpoles made it this time, before dry periods in July and the August drought.

Ground cover was generous, however 14 Ovenbirds banded yielded only 15 chicks banded. Can't blame the fox; 14 Wood Thrush banded also yielded only 15 chicks banded.

Fun notes: May 4, Tufted Titmouse carried an acorn half to a nest in a snag by a vernal pool. May 6, the female of a Black-and-white Warbler pair was stripping bark off of grape. May 2 and 7, there were piles of Blue Jay feathers on the ground; the first of Cooper's Hawk activity. May 8, Blue Jay carrying acorn. May 10, Red-eyed Vireo courtship feeding. May 10, Carolina Wren fledglings. May 11, a hybrid Chickadee carried a budworm to a nest in a low snag, and a pair of Wood Thrush gathered cedar bark. May 27, a pair of Chipping Sparrows on the road were courtship feeding; the female then ate some hatched Robin eggshell on the road.

May 25, a singing Golden-winged Warbler had some yellow in the upper breast. We investigated some different-sounding Blue-winged Warbler songs with a play-back device. One responding Blue-winged Warbler had yellow tips on white wing bars. Two other responding males looked 'pure'. June 26 a male fledgling Lawrence's Warbler was mist-netted with his father, a Blue-winged Warbler with yellow tips on white wing bars. Other Lawrence's chicks were seen in the roses. When the banded chick was released, a Blue-winged female with yellow tips on white wing bars flew after him and got caught. She was banded on 1 July 2007. A week later the Lawrence's chick was caught again, also another Blue-winged male and chick, both with yellow tips on white wing bars. We hope to clarify family relationships in these unusual captures by DNA tests on a pulled tail feather from each.

Common NameCount & Comments
Great Blue Heronflyover mid June, end July
Wild Turkey5
Canada Goose4 half-grown goslings May 24
Mourning Dove12
Black Vultureflyover May 10
Turkey Vulture2 pairs
Cooper's Hawk1
Red-shouldered Hawkmobbed by crows July 2
Red-tailed Hawk2  pair, routinely mobbed. Fledgling July 13
Screech Owl1, 4 in August
Great-horned Owl2
Yellow-billed Cuckoo2
Black-billed Cuckoo1
Chimney Swiftflyover, May 10, 16
Ruby-throated Hummingbird4
Red-bellied Woodpecker26
Hairy Woodpecker5
Downy Woodpecker10
Yellow-shafted Flicker7
Pileated Woodpeckerthroughout, April nest
Eastern Wood Pewee6
Eastern Phoebe4
Great-crested Flycatcher6
Willow Flycatcher1
Tree Swallowpair, fledglings
Barn Swallow4 pairs, 13 fledglings
Blue Jay26
American Crow12
Carolina Chickadee12
Black-capped Chickadee7
Hybrid Chickadee4, nest
Tufted Titmouse35
White-breasted Nuthatch13
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher3
House Wren7
Carolina Wren15
House Finch6
American Goldfinch4
Chipping Sparrow8
Song Sparrow11
Field Sparrow3
Eastern Towhee33
Northern Cardinal38
Rose-breasted Grosbeak17
House Sparrow2
White-eyed Vireo1
Yellow-throated Vireo7
Red-eyed Vireo22
Black-and-white Warbler6
Blue-winged Warbler8
Golden-winged Warblerhybrid
Lawrence's Warblerchick banded
Yellow Warbler3
Louisiana Waterthrush1
Common Yellowthroat26
Yellow-breasted Chat1
Brown-headed Cowbird10
Red-winged Blackbird4
Baltimore Oriole11
Common Grackle10
European Starling3
Scarlet Tanager8
Cedar Waxwing1
Northern Mockingbird2
Gray Catbird53
Brown Thrasher2
Eastern Bluebird2, 2 broods
Wood Thrush32
American Robin35

Singing/displaying males of 70 species were on territory during the censusing of May-July. Males of various species were seen with fledglings from mid-May on.

The managed meadow retained the Field Sparrow, Blue-winged Warbler and Common Yellowthroats. The managed shrubland missed some target birds, the Willow Flycatcher (didn/t stay), Yellow-breasted Chat (elsewhere), Indigo Bunting. Present were White-eyed Vireo, Brown Thrasher, Blue-winged Warblers, Field Sparrows, and a Hummingbird.

Mist-netting for the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship program resulted in 341 new birds banded and 133 recaptures, including 58 banded birds returning from previous years, the oldest being an Ovenbird, over 9 years old. Return numbers are down from 72 of last year.

As cooperators with the University of California LA/National Insititute of Health Avian flu project, we swabbed and took feather samples of 250 birds.

The species list follows, the numbers being singing/displaying males on territory.


Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew


Last revision: Friday, February 11, 2011