Date: 6/10/18 9:15 am From: Chris Rimmer <crimmer...> Subject: [VTBIRD] Mansfield update, better late than never
Although "old news" now, VCE's second field 2018 visit to Mt. Mansfield took place last Wednesday-Thursday. We set 25 mist nets on the ridgeline during early evening under calm, cool and partly cloudy conditions. We immediately started catching birds and had 18 by nightfall, when we closed our nets. The dusk chorus was robust, and several Bicknell's Thrushes (BITH) performed their signature flight songs as complete darkness fell. Nine of the 18 birds we captured were BITH.
Clouds moved in and lowered overnight, with temps dipping into the mid-40s F, though the wind thankfully stayed calm. Conditions for banding were chilly and our nets wet, but we managed to have a solid morning, with several small groups of White-winged Crossbills and Pine Siskins moving around the ridgeline. Again, not a single Winter Wren was heard, a most conspicuous absence. As last week, Ruby-crowned Kinglets and Purple Finches were singing in above-average numbers, and I have never heard as many as the 5 Am. Robins that were singing within striking distance of the uppermost parking lot. After last fall's bountiful balsam fir cone crop, it was truly surprising not to encounter hide nor hair of a red squirrel on the ridgeline.
Our two-day banding total of 77 birds:
Yellow-bellied Flycatcher 1 Bicknell's Thrush 21 6 new, 11 returns from previous years (1 banded in each of 2011-2013, 4 from 2016, 4 from 2017), 4 within-season retraps Swainson's Thrush 6 4 new, 2 returns from previous years (2015 and 2017) American Robin 1 Blackpoll Warbler 7 5 new, 2 returns from 2016 Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 4 Dark-eyed Junco (Slate-colored) 8 7 new, 1 return from 2017) White-throated Sparrow 15 13 new, 1 banded in 2017, 1 within-season retrap) Purple Finch 4 3 males and 1 female with fully-developed brood patch White-winged Crossbill 3 1 new female + retrap of pair banded last week on 31 May Pine Siskin 7 4 free-flying juveniles, 3 adults
None of the long-distance migrants showed evidence of active nesting (i.e., no incubation patches), while robins, juncos, W-t Sparrows and PUFIs are all on eggs, if not tending young nestlings. Both the female crossbills and siskins showed regressing brood patches, indicating that they had nested at least a couple of weeks ago, if not earlier.
We'll be back up there on Mon-Tues this week and will try to post a more timely update.
Chris Rimmer Vermont Center for Ecostudies PO Box 420 | Norwich, Vermont 05055 802.649.1431 x202 http://vtecostudies.org/