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New Jersey Catbird
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Sommer Park Preserve, Hopewell, New Jersey


Fall 2009
Hannah Suthers

The unprecedented frequency of summer rain continued through the fall banding season. Migrants flooded through before and after wet weekends. Their numbers were not reflected in the weekend banding days, four of which were inoperative. Fruit was abundant. Seasonally warm temperatures kept insects active far into the season, the first killing frost not occurring until 7 November. Then mild weather returned for the remainder of the month.

Effects of a tropical storm were seen in a report from Corvo Island in the Azores, West Africa, of migrants appearing on October 18:

1 Great White Egret,
1 Spotted Sandpiper,
2 Semipalmated Sandpipers,
1 White-eyed Vireo,
3 Common Yellowthroats,
1 American Redstart,
1 Black-and-white Warbler,
1 Yellow Warbler, female Baltimore Oriole,
1 Indigo Bunting,
1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak.


Of 326 encounters at Featherbed Lane Banding Station there were 279 newly banded, 32 recaptured from previous banding, and 15 escapees or released unbanded. Thirty-eight species were banded, an unprecedented 7 Ruby-throated Hummingbirds released unbanded, 29 more species seen, totaling 68 species, of which 30 species were Neotropical migrants, 16 species temperate migrants and 22 species residents. Five flycatcher species, 6 thrush, 12 warbler, 3 finch and 6 sparrow species were banded. A Carolina x Black-capped Chickadee hybrid was banded, another was recaptured from July. A 9-year-old female cardinal was recaptured for the first time. Gray Catbird dependent fledglings appeared as late as 13 September. Feather samples and cloacal swabs were taken on 100 birds for the UCLA/NIH Avian Flu Project.

Sighting and banding details, dates, (number of birds):

Common NameCount & Comments
Canada Gooseflocks overhead
Turkey Vulturethroughout
Cooper's Hawkescaped net 20 Sept, seen 30 Oct, 22 Nov
Red-shouldered Hawk21-Nov
Red-tailed Hawkthroughout
Broad-winged Hawkflyover 20 Sept (8)
Mourning Dovethroughout
Ruby-throated Hummingbirdlast in nets 13 Sept (3)
Red-bellied Woodpeckerthroughout
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker5 Oct, (2)
Downy Woodpeckerthroughout
Common Flickerthroughout
Pileated Woodpeckerthroughout
Eastern Wood Peweeseen 13 Sept
Yellow-bellied Flycatcherbanded 13 Sept
Acadian Flycatcherbanded 6 Sept
Alder Flycatcherbanded 6 & 13 Sept (3), (1)
Eastern Phoebebanded 4 Oct
Blue Jays and Crowsthroughout
Hybrid Chickadeebanded (1), recaptured (1) 11 Oct
Carolina Chickadeebanded 11 Oct, 8 Nov
Black-capped Chickadeeseen 6 & 13 Sept
Tufted Titmousebanded 6 & 20 Sept, 11 Oct
White-breasted Nuthatchthroughout
Ruby-crowned Kingletbanded in Oct (7)
Eastern Bluebird(& fledglings) throughout
Veerylast banded 20 Sept
Gray-cheeked Thrushbanded 4 Oct (2)
Swainson's Thrushbanded 6 Sept, 4 & 11 Oct
Hermit Thrushbanded 11 Oct (17)
Wood Thrushbanded 6 & 20 Sept
American Robinflocks, banded 11 Nov (4)
Northern Mockingbirdthroughout
Brown Thrasherescaped net 20 Sept
Catbird(64) last banded 11 Oct
Cedar Waxwingjuvenile banded 8 Nov
Red-eyed Vireolast banded 4 Oct
Canada Warblerbanded 6 Sept
Black-and-white Warblerseen 6 & 13 Sept
Blackpoll Warblerbanded 4 Oct
American Redstartbanded 6 & 13 Sept
Magnolia Warblerlast banded Oct 11 (3)
Yellow Palm Warblerbanded 11 Oct
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle)banded 11 Oct
Black-throated Blue Warblerbanded 20 Sept, last 4 Oct
Ovenbirdlast banded 20 Sept
Northern Waterthrushbanded 6 Sept
Common Yellowthroatlast banded 11 Oct (3)
Connecticut Warblerbanded 20 Sept
Scarlet Tanagerbanded 6 Oct
American Goldfinchthroughout
House Finchthroughout
Northern Cardinalthroughout, 9-year-old female recaptured for the first time
Indigo Buntingbanded 20 Sept
Eastern Towhee banded13 Sept (2) & 20 Sept
Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored)appeared 6 Nov, banded 8 Nov
Chipping Sparrowlast seen 13 Sept
White-throated Sparrowappeared 4 Oct, many banded
Fox Sparrowbanded 8 Nov
Swamp Sparrow(6) banded 4 Oct, 11 Oct
Song Sparrowthroughout, banded
Common Grackleflocks up to 2500 13 Oct thru Nov
Hannah Suthers and the Featherbed Lane Banding Station Crew


Last revision: Friday, February 11, 2011